CPR, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is an important skill for parents to learn.
Knowing CPR can help you revive your child if his heart stops or he stops breathing because of an accident (like drowning) or some medical problem. It is therefore especially important for parents to learn CPR if they have a pool, spend a lot time on the water, or have a premature baby or child with some other chronic medical condition.
Although you can't learn CPR from simply reading a book or online article, you can learn some basics.
The three basic parts of CPR are usually thought of as the ABC's:
- A is for Airway, which consists of positioning a child, opening his airway and making sure it isn't blocked.
- B is for Breathing, and is made up of the rescue breaths (breathing into a child's mouth (airway)) that you give a child that has stopped breathing.
- C is for Circulation and can also be thought of as chest compressions, which is the way that you restore a child's blood flow when their heart has stopped.
The basic steps of CPR are described well on this site which describes the emergency procedures for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). You should also review these guidelines about choking and the Heimlich Maneuver.
Where Can You Learn CPR
The easiest way is just look for CPR classes in your community. The American Red Cross provides infant and child CPR classes. These classes can teach you to recognize an emergency, help a choking child, and how to give rescue breaths an do chest compressions. To find your local American Red Cross:
If you can get enough parents together, you also might look at hiring a CPR instructor to come to your home and teach everyone together.
Your local hospital, school, fire department or YMCA might also offer CPR classes.
This list of training courses from the American Heart Association (AHA) can also help you to find a class near your home: