Learning Infant CPR

Today, I attended an Infant CPR workshop that was taught by an Emergency Response Team member. The topics included SIDS, choking, falls, etc.; it was not a “light” class to say the least. On a positive note, I came out of it feeling a bit more prepared should I ever need to perform CPR or deal with choking (although I hope I’ll never be put to the test).

Here are a few points from the class that resonated with me:

On choking:

  • Biggest choking hazard: No, not grapes. Nope, not even hot dogs. It’s the television (or other distractions)!
  • Best way to prevent baby from choking on food: Never leave him unattended.
  • If an infant or child is choking: Do 5 palm blows to the back and 5 abdominal thrusts, and keep repeating. For infants <1 year, use the football hold to hold the baby upside down for blows to the back and then flip onto back for two-finger thrusts.
  • If you’re alone and choking: Call 9-1-1 and because you can’t talk, tap the phone to indicate that you need help. Do self chest compressions against the edge of a your front door (so help can easily get to you).
  • Bandaids are choking hazards. Infants don’t need bandaids; their blood clots fairly quickly.


  • If an infant or child is not breathing: “30 and 2 will get you through.” Do 30 chest compressions and 2 breaths. For infants, use thumbs for chest compressions.
  • If you are alone with an infant or a child who is not breathing, perform five cycles of CPR before calling 9-1-1. The first few minutes are critical to get the child breathing. (If possible, run outside to start CPR and try to get neighbours’ attention for help.)

On allergies:

  • If your baby is allergic to something, only use Benedryl if you are going to Emergency. Taking Benedryl will mask symptoms, so you may not know the severity of the reaction unless you get it checked out.


  • Do not overdress the baby for bed. Babies are far more likely to suffer from overheating than being cold.¬†The ideal sleeping temperature for the baby is between 16-20 degrees celcius (I know…cold, isn’t it?!).
  • Put your hand down the back of baby’s shirt to feel if he or she is warm/cold. Don’t judge by their hands.

There’s so much more to learning than just reading, so I highly recommend everyone to learn basic skills through a hands-on class.¬†Although it’s scary to think of the worst-case scenario, it’s always best to be prepared.

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