Drowning in Children
- In cases of drowning
- In any near-drowning episode
This article is just a guideline. It is important to learn CPR to know how to do it correctly. For more information about a CPR course, go to redcross.org or heart.org.
1. Get Help
- Notify a lifeguard, if one is close. If not, ask someone to call 911.
- If you are alone, follow the steps below.
2. Move the Child
- Take the child out of the water.
3. Check for Breathing and Responsiveness
- See whether the child is breathing. Place your ear near the child’s mouth and nose. Do you feel air on your cheek? Is the child’s chest moving?
4. If the Child Is Not Breathing, Check Pulse
- Check the child's pulse for 10 seconds.
5. If There is No Pulse, Start CPR
If the child doesn’t respond and isn’t breathing:
- Carefully place child on back. For a baby, be careful not to tilt head back too far. If you suspect a neck or head injury, roll baby over, moving entire body at once.
- For a baby, place two fingers on breastbone. For a child, place heel of one hand on center of chest at nipple line. You can also push with one hand on top of the other.
- For a child, press down about 2 inches. Make sure not to press on ribs.
- For a baby, press down about 1 1/2 inches, about 1/3 to 1/2 the depth of the chest. Make sure not to press on the end of the breastbone.
- Do 30 chest compressions, at the rate of 100 per minute. Let the chest rise completely between pushes.
- Check to see if the child has started breathing.
6. Repeat if Child Is Still Not Breathing
- Give 2 breaths, followed by 30 chest compressions.
- Continue this cycle of 30 compressions and 2 breaths until the child starts breathing or emergency help arrives. If someone else is helping you, you should give 15 compressions, then 2 breaths.
- If you are alone and the child does not start breathing, continue the cycle for 2 minutes, then call 911.