The moment someone becomes a parent, they realize that there is a whole new set of fears. But fear is good; it makes us question whether we are prepared for various scenarios.
As for the fear regarding the health and safety of newborns, babies, and kids, nothing is more terrifying than the moment of silence. But new parents should not panic. Even watching short YouTube videos presenting the basic CPR techniques can be lifesaving.
And those videos or reading helpful articles might motivate you to prepare yourself better and get familiar with the process of CPR certification for parents in Arlington.
A Brief Introduction to CPR
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is a procedure used in emergencies. CPR is applied when someone is experiencing cardiac arrest or stops breathing due to various heart conditions, CAD, or accidents, including drowning or electrocution. The CPR provider attempts to keep the blood flowing through the body so that the vital organs remain supplied with oxygen.
It is important to apply CPR as soon as the basic signs of heart failure or an irregular heartbeat that does not allow blood to be pumped are observed. There are certain warning signs that a person is experiencing an SCA:
- Bluishness of the face and skin. One of the alarming signs that someone is in need of CPR is the blue or pale skin and face, which means that they are not breathing or have heart failure.
- Interrupted pulse. With two or three fingers on the side of the neck, you can check if someone has a pulse, what condition they are in, and if it is out of the normal range. It is a significant indicator that an immediate response should be taken.
- Cessation of breathing. Checking for respiratory arrest can be done by observing the victim’s chest. If it does not rise and fall, it is an indicator that breathing has stopped.
More than two thirds of Americans or 70%, according to AHA, feel that they would not be able to respond to an emergency and perform CPR. The main reason behind this is a lack of confidence in their skills or forgetting their previous training.
According to CPR Rescuers, 88% of cardiac arrests occur at home, which puts a lot of parents without peace of mind that they will be able to protect their families.
CPR for Infants and Children
Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in children is sadly common. According to the data provided in AHA Heart and Stroke Statistics, the incidence of children in 2015 was 7,037, and 2020 data shows that 87.5% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in children occurred at home with the rest being in public spaces. A staggering 39% of SCA cases in children under the age of 18 are related to sports.
Even though they are rare, cardiac arrests in infants and children can be fatal if CPR is not immediately administered. A quick response also decreases the chances of developing a Post-Cardiac Arrest Syndrome with current cases in the US being 6,500 children annually.
How to Perform CPR on Infants and Children
To better remember the procedure, the American Heart Association recommends the C-A-B spelling, short for Compression, Airway, and Breathing.
- CPR in infants is applied with two fingers, index and middle finger, and 1.5-inch deep compressions are made at a rate of 100-120 per minute. You should provide two rescue breaths after 15 compressions.
- For the procedure in children, one or both hands are used depending on the child’s size, with the palms overlapping each other. The same 15:2 ratio applies, and for 8+ children the ratio is 30:2.
In both cases, it is important to ensure a clear breathing channel and airflow to the airway and check if the baby or child has swallowed anything that could block the airway. And only then can you provide rescue breaths.
Different Types of CPR
Make room, provide a flat and hard surface and prepare for chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth breaths. This is the first thought of many, as an image created by popular culture, but the use of artificial respiration during CPR is not always recommended.
Hands-only CPR means that you do not need to breathe into the victim’s mouth. According to AHA, CPR by bystanders or lay people does not necessarily include performing mouth-to-mouth ventilation. After the clinical study, it was determined that additional inhalations do not affect the chances of the victim’s survival.
At the same time, bystanders may decide not to provide mouth-to-mouth ventilation during CPR unless appropriate conditions exist, as well as for practical reasons. In that sense, less frequent interruptions between chest compressions are of greater importance.
However, in cases of infants and children, it is recommended to administer ventilation at the 15:2 ratio for up to 8 years of age and at the 30:2 ratio for older children.
Are You Sure About the Number of Compressions?
It is surprising the number of people who think they know the correct number of chest compressions, both for children and adults. According to a Cleveland Clinic survey, only 11% of Americans know the correct number of compressions to apply.
Misconceptions about the pace, strength, and placement of chest compressions easily creep in. So, you should go through CPR training or refresh your skills to be able to apply 100-120 compressions per minute correctly.
Pass the Knowledge on to Your Children
Just talking to your kids about performing CPR and calling 911 can be very helpful. First of all, you will instill awareness from an early age to avoid panicking and wasting valuable reaction time.
Older children can take care of younger siblings, call 911 and get help in time. If they are alone at home without an adult present, they can take basic life support steps.
Even though they are minors, they can attend official courses for CPR certification and get CPR knowledge and skills in specialized classes in high school. Kids can also help parents in emergency situations, as well as other adults, while waiting for the EMTs.
Inspirational Stories of Parents Using CPR
Stories of Arlingtonites will surely bring home the message – CPR saves lives and works as a charm. Their experiences show how vulnerable a parent can be, but also strong, standing up to their child’s needs, never giving up, and making the right decision in every scenario.
Hero Dad Encourages Others
The story of Arlington’s dad will definitely be inspirational for many parents.
Back in 2010, Wayne Martin saved his little boy’s life. The seven-year-old son pulled his little brother from the whirlpool and screamed for help.
Wayne performed CPR while another child called 911. The hero dad continued with the procedure until the ambulance arrived.
Wayne did this with some previous EMT training. After the accident, he believes that performing CPR saved his son’s life and hopes this will send a message to all parents to be trained in CPR.
Texas Mom Saves a Toddler
After finding him unconscious in their pool, Tanah Zuniga used CPR to revive her 17-month-old son.
The toddler wandered in the backyard with his older cousin while their mothers were busy in the kitchen. The children went straight to the pool in the backyard and the little one started drowning immediately after entering. His 2-year-old cousin tried to save him before climbing out of the pool and rushing back inside.
Tanah knew something was wrong when she saw her nephew alone, pointing to the backyard, and ran straight to find her son floating in the water. His face was white, his lips blue, and he wasn’t showing signs of life.
The desperate mom started performing CPR together with her sister and called 911. As a result of their prompt action, he started breathing and making noises within minutes. The little one has completely recovered since then and has had no health consequences—all thanks to his mom’s expeditious CPR procedure.
The most fragile period for children is when they grow up, and every activity is an adventure for them, whether at the pool, by the beach, or on the mountain, which brings numerous dangers. A slight carelessness, accident, or misjudgment can put them in a life-threatening situation.
In those moments as a parent, your thoughts will be focused on only one goal – how to help your child.
There are numerous online resources on the official websites of the AHA, American Red Cross, and other associations for heart health awareness. Additional education, refreshing your knowledge about CPR training in Arlington, following new health recommendations, and baby and child protection tips are helpful and can prepare you for any situation.
That way, you will have peace of mind and protection for your family at all times.