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CPR can save your child's life if his heart has stopped beating or if he isn't breathing for any reason. Some of these reasons can include an accident, drowning, poisoning, suffocation, smoke inhalation or choking.

The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends that all parents complete a course in basic CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Do not depend on this reference article alone. Contact the American Red Cross to find out about courses in your area. 1800-422-7677

IF YOUR CHILD HAS STOPPED BREATHING

1. Get emergency medical help. Perform the following rescue procedures while waiting for help to arrive.

2. Position your child on his back on a flat surface.

3. Open the airway by gently tilting the head back so that his nose is in the air and his mouth is open. Look, listen and feel for respiratory movement. Look into throat to see whether it is blocked by a foreign object or a piece of food.

4. Take a deep breath. If your child is an infant, place your mouth over his nose and mouth, making as tight a seal as possible. If your child is older, pinch his nostrils and place your mouth over his.

5. Give two rescue breaths, blowing enough air into their lungs so you can see the child's chest rise slightly. Pause, removing your mouth from his, and take another deep breath. If no air seems to be getting into the chest, the airway is still blocked.

6. If your child's chest does rise as you breathe, continue to breath for him at a rate of approximately one breath every three seconds (20 per minute), until he is breathing on his own.


IF YOUR CHILD HAS NO PULSE

Check your child's pulse after the two rescue breaths. If you can't feel a pulse, begin CPR. With an infant, place two fingers on the breastbone, one finger width below the nipple line. Gently press down 1/2 to 1 inch, at a rate of at least 100 times per minute. With an older child, place the heel of one of your hands over the lower third of the breastbone. Press down 1 to 1 1/2 inches at a rate of 80 to 100 times per minute. After 5 compressions, give the child one breath. Continue 5 compressions to one breath. After 20 cycles or 20 rescue breaths (about 1 minute), if there is no pulse, seek emergency help. Continue cycles until help arrives.