The priorities for an unconscious child are to ensure that the child stays breathing by keeping the airway clear; and regularly looking, listening and feeling for breaths; to treat any life-threatening injuries; and to call for emergency help. If an unconscious child is breathing, do a quick check for life-threatening injuries and treat if necessary, then turn the victim into the recovery position.
HOW TO MOVE A CHILD INTO THE RECOVERY POSITION
1. Kneel beside the child. Remove glasses and any bulky objects from the pockets. Ensure the airway is open by lifting the chin and tilting the head. Make sure both legs are straight, then place the arm nearest to you to straight out from the child’s body, with the elbow bent and the palm placing upward.
2. Bring the arm furthest away from you across the child’s chest and hold the back of the hand against the cheek nearest you.
3. With your other hand, grasp the child’s far leg just above the knee and pull it up, keeping the foot flat on the ground.
4. Keeping the child’s hand pressed against her cheek, pull on the far leg and roll the child toward you and to her side. Adjust the upper leg so that both the hip and knee are bent in right angles.
5. Tilt the head back so that the airway remains open. If necessary, adjust the hand under the cheek to make sure the child’s head remains tilted and the airways stays open. Call for emergency help if this has not already been done. Check the breathing regularly, and check the lower arm for any loss of color or warmth. If it turns white or blue, or if it becomes cold, gently move it until the color or warmth returns.
RECOVERY POSITION FOR BABIES
For a baby or a very young child who is unconscious, the easiest way to maintain an open airways to cradle the infant face down over your arm, while supporting the head and neck with your hand.
Never move a child if you suspect there is a spinal injury unless breathing is hindered or the child needs to be removed from danger.