Infant CPR: How to treat a choking infant with CPR


Table Of Content(s)

  1. Infant CPR: How to treat a choking infant with CPR
  2. What is infant CPR and what are the ways to administer it?
  3. What are the immediate steps to take when an infant is choking?
  4. Conclusion

When it comes to caring for infants, it is important to be prepared for emergencies that can be potentially fatal. If you are a parent, guardian or a nanny, an infant CPR course can prepare you to deliver expertised care in a crisis.

There are at least 1 infant death due to choking every 5 days in the US. Choking can be fatal for infants as their respiratory system is still underdeveloped. Moreover, infants have this common urge to explore things by putting them in their mouths. Without timely intervention in such cases, deoxygenation can lead to irreversible damages. Therefore anyone responsible for taking care of infants should learn infant CPR. This article will guide you through the key points of infant CPR and how to tackle choking emergencies.

What is infant CPR and what are the ways to administer it?

Infant CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation is a lifesaving technique that aims to revive a child’s heart. Choking incidents in infants can often lead to cardiac arrests or respiratory failure. An infant CPR training class is exclusively designed to administer lifesaving skills on the unique anatomy and physiology of a child.

These are the ways by which you can perform infant CPR-

  • Assess the Situation: Before beginning CPR, assess the infant’s condition to determine if they are responsive and breathing normally.
  • Call for Help: If you’re alone, perform CPR for about 2 minutes before calling emergency services. If someone else is present, instruct them to call for help immediately.

Read More: Know the 5 fundamental steps of Basic Life Support.

  • Positioning: Lay the infant on a firm, flat surface, such as the floor or a table, with their back facing upwards.
  • Open the Airway: Gently tilt the infant’s head back and lift their chin to open the airway.
  • Check for Breathing: Look, listen, and feel for signs of breathing for no more than 10 seconds. If the infant is not breathing normally, proceed with CPR.
  • Perform Chest Compressions: Using two or three fingers, compress the center of the infant’s chest about 1.5 inches deep at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute.
  • Provide Rescue Breaths: After 30 compressions, give two gentle breaths into the infant’s mouth while ensuring the airway remains open.
  • Continue CPR: Alternate between compressions and rescue breaths in cycles of 30:2 until help arrives or the infant begins to breathe normally.

Read More: Know how to perform CPR for different age groups.

What are the immediate steps to take when an infant is choking?

Choking can be an extremely traumatic experience for both the infant and their caretaker. It requires immediate action as the obstruction needs to be removed as soon as possible. Here are the immediate steps you can take when an infant is choking-

  • Assess the Situation: Stay calm and assess the infant’s condition to determine if they are choking. Look for signs such as difficulty breathing, inability to cough or cry, and a bluish tint to the skin.
  • Act Promptly: If the infant is choking and unable to breathe, act immediately to clear the airway obstruction.
  • Positioning: Support the infant’s head and neck and place them face down across your forearm or thigh, ensuring their head is lower than their body.
  • Back Blows: Using the heel of your hand, deliver up to five quick and forceful blows between the infant’s shoulder blades to dislodge the object.
  • Chest Thrusts: If back blows are ineffective, turn the infant over onto their back and perform up to five chest thrusts. Place two fingers in the center of the infant’s chest just below the nipple line and push inward and upward sharply.
  • Alternate: Continue alternating between back blows and chest thrusts until the object is expelled, or the infant becomes unconscious.
  • Call for Help: If the infant becomes unconscious or the obstruction persists, call emergency services immediately and continue providing assistance.
  • CPR if Unconscious: If the infant becomes unconscious, begin infant CPR immediately, starting with chest compressions followed by rescue breaths.

Read More: Can CPR cause rib fractures?


The skills of infant CPR should be mastered by parents, caregivers and anyone taking care of a child. Understanding and implementing these techniques can make the difference between life and death. By going through the steps outlined in this guide, you can prepare yourself for such critical moments. But it is important to enroll in a proper accredited course that abides by the latest industry standards.

The goal of infant CPR is to restore normal circulation and breathing in a baby after a choking accident. The motivation and will to learn these skills can make this world safer for individuals who cannot take care of themselves. Enroll in an infant CPR course to give infants the best chance of survival in the face of choking emergencies.


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