If a child has lost consciousness and is not breathing, you will need to provide rescue breathing in order to prevent brain damage and heart failure. When a child is not breathing, the cause is very likely to be a problem with the intake of oxygen, for example, through drowning, an accident or through choking.
The priority, therefore, is to provide oxygen. If you are by yourself and an ambulance has not yet been called, do not leave to call an ambulance until you have given a minute’s worth of rescue breathing (or if the circulation has also stopped, a minute’s worth of CPR, where rescue breathing is combined with chest compressions).
RESCUE BREATHING FOR A CHILD
1. Place the child on his back. Open airway by tilting the head and lifting the chin up with your fingers.
2. Pinch the soft part of the nose closed with the finger and thumb of the hand that was on the forehead. Open the mouth.
3. Take a deep breath to fill your lungs with air and place your lips around the child’s mouth, making sure you have a good seal.
4. Blow into the mouth and watch the chest rise. Maintaining head tilt and chin lift, remove your mouth and watch the chest fall.
RESCUE BREATHING FOR A BABY
1. Open the airway by lifting the chin. Use minimum head tilt.
2. You may find it easier to seal your mouth over the baby’s mouth and nose separately. Open the infant’s mouth. Empty your cheeks of air rather than blowing hard into the mouth. Watch the chest rise.
3. Keeping the baby’s chin lifted, take your mouth away and watch the chest fall. An effective is one where you can see the chest rise and fall, and your aim is to give 2 effective breaths. Try up to 5 attempts to give 2 effective breaths.
WHAT TO DO IF THE CHEST DOES NOT RISE
• Check for any obvious obstruction around the neck or on the chest which may be preventing the breath from going again.
• Re-open the airway. Tilt the head, look for and remove any obvious obstructions, and lift the chin.
• Re-seal the nose and mouth and breathe in again.
• Try up to 5 attempts to give 2 effective breaths.
If the chest still does not rise, it is likely that the airway is blocked either by an object such as food or vomit, or because the air passages have swollen up due to a condition such as anaphylaxis. In these circumstances, the best treatment is to move straight to CPR---combining further attempts at rescue breathing with chest compressions.
ABC FOR RESUSCITATION FOR CHILDREN
Airway Use head tilt and chin lift to keep an open airway while providing rescue breathing.
Breathing Provide rescue breathing to a child or a baby who is not breathing.
Circulation Check for signs of circulation.
CHECKING FOR CIRCULATION
After giving 2 effective breaths, the next step in the ABC of first aid is to check that the oxygen is being circulated around the body. Look, listen, and feel for breathing, coughing, movement, normal color or any other sign of life for no more than 10 seconds.
If there are clear signs of circulation, then continue to give rescue breaths at a rate of 1 every 6 seconds, until help arrives or the child begin to breathe for himself. Continue to check for signs of circulation throughout.
If there are no signs of circulation, move to giving full CPR--- combining rescue breaths with chest compressions
In the case of face injury or if a child has been poisoned, give mouth-to-nose rescue breaths. Lift the chin, tilt the head, seal the mouth, and breathe into the child’s nose, removing your mouth to let air escape.