In light of my dear grand baby and the fact that you might be the difference between me seeing her grow up, this is now your daily Public Service Announcement:
I was reminded this week of why we need to stay educated when it comes to basic life support and knowing how to do CPR. Most of us have heard the basics, but it was concerning to me to hear how much the media pushes "Hands Only CPR", and completely failed to mention that DOES NOT apply to children. Not once do the training videos I looked at, the news broadcasts I saw, mention the fact that AHA newer guidelines on chest compressions as priority did they remind the viewer that this is NOT true for infant/child CPR.
It is likely that someday you will encounter a moment where you could make a difference for someone- you could save their life, just by knowing CPR. And especially for children. (American Heart Association defines child as anyone under 8 years old, or is the size of an average 8 year old) If you wait for someone else to show up, the paramedics to arrive, that little person could be lost.
Statistically, CPR is needed on adults because of cardiac arrest. So when their heart starts "misbehaving", they have about 4 minutes of oxygenated blood circulating in their bodies. So compressions alone, effective deep pumps, can make all the difference.
The concern is that for babies and children, over 90% of the time they need CPR because they are in "respiratory arrest". Either choking, allergic reaction, whatever- but it is rarely their young, healthy little heart that stops. So in reality, by the time that child goes down non-responsive- they have already lost 2 minutes of oxygenated blood, and now their heart is going to go into arrrest.
It is IMPERATIVE that the FIRST thing you do for a child is START CPR. Don't wait and run for the phone. Don't leave them to find help. Don't start crying and jump around screaming. (I am not trying to be heartless, I am dead serious.)
The FIRST THING you do for a child who is down and not breathing, is START CPR. Please. Educate yourself in what to do, and make a difference. In cardiac arrest, after CPR there is a long recovery needed at the hospital. People don't bounce back from the heart crumping out. But in respiratory arrest, which is what happens when someone drowns, chokes, etc- they literally get the CPR they need, and they get up and walk away. It really is just like that. And you can do it with a little education. You can save a life.
Here's a link that explains the difference between child and adult CPR.
Why CPR matters for children
Thanks for listening to my soap box, now go do something about what your heart is saying before something distracts you. Do it.
I am giving the members of my family a CPR class for Christmas (won't they be excited. )
Links for local classes: