RESUSCITATION UNCONSCIOUS CHILD

The following describes the techniques that may be needed for the resuscitation of an unconscious child aged between one year and puberty. 

When treating a child, always approach and treat her from the same side, kneeling down next to the head or chest.

You will then be in the correct position to carry out all the different stages of resuscitation: opening the airway, checking to breathe, and giving rescue breaths and chest compressions (together known as cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR)

At each stage you will have decisions to make, for example, is the child breathing? The steps are given here tell you what to do next.

Your first priority is to open the child’s airway so that she can breathe, or so that you can give rescue breaths. If normal breathing resumes, place the child in the recovery position.

If a child with a known heart condition collapses, call 999/112 for emergency help immediately and ask for an AED to be brought. Early access to advanced care can be life-saving. 

HOW TO CHECK RESPONSE

On discovering a collapsed child, you should first establish whether she is conscious or unconscious. Do this by speaking loudly and clearly to the child. Ask “What has happened?” or give a command such as, “Open your eyes” Place one hand on her shoulder, and gently tap her to see if there is a response.

IF THERE IS A RESPONSE

  1. If there is no further danger, leave the child in the position in which she was found, check for life-threatening injuries and summon emergency help if needed.
  1. Treat any condition found. Monitor and record vital signs — level of response, breathing and pulse until emergency help arrives or the child recovers. 

IF THERE IS NO RESPONSE 

  1. Shout for help. Leave the child in the position in Which she was found, and open the airway. 
  1. If you are unable to open the airway in the position in which she was found, roll the child on to her back and open the airway. GO to How to open the airway (opposite). 

HOW TO OPEN THE AIRWAY

  1. Place one hand on the child’s forehead. Gently tilt her head back. As you do this, the mouth will fall open slightly. 
  2. Place the fingertips of your other hand on the point Of the chin and lift. Do not push on the soft tissues under the chin since this may black the airway. NOW check to See if the child is breathing. GO to How to check breathing (below). 

HOW TO CHECK BREATHING

Keep the airway open and look, listen and feel for normal breathing – look for chest movement, listen for sounds of normal breathing and feel for breaths or your cheek. Do this for no more than ten seconds.

IF THE CHILD IS BREATHING

  1. Check for life-threatening injuries such as severe bleeding. Treat as necessary. 
  2. Place the child in the recovery position and call 999/112 for emergency help. 
  3. Monitor and record vital signs — level of response, breathing and pulse while waiting for help to arrive. GO to How to place child in recovery position.

IF THE CHILD IS NOT BREATHING

  1. Ask a helper to call 999/112 for emergency help. If you are on your own, perform CPR for one minute and then make the emergency call yourself. 
  2. Begin CPR with FIVE initial rescue breaths. Go to How to give CPR. 

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