As you decide which classes to take before baby arrives, remember to add a CPR certification class to your list. There has been a lot of buzz about Hands-only CPR, and the American Heart Association has launched a robust campaign to get the word out about this life-saving technique. However, many people are confused about how and when to use Hands-only CPR, or CPR without breaths. Hands-only CPR is easy to learn, but has not replaced traditional CPR. In fact, the American Heart Association is clear about their recommendation - everyone should take a CPR class and practice their skills frequently. CPR that is performed by skilled providers, with breaths and effective compressions, along with minimal interruption in compressions, is the most effective.
Traditional CPR, breaths and compressions, is especially relavent to helping infants and children. Infants and children are not having heart attacks, like the adult victim. In most cases, a respiratory problem has lead to their unconscious state. In fact, choking is the #1 cause of unintentional death in infants. This situation requires parents to know how to relieve the obstruction, as well as provide traditional CPR (CPR with breaths and compressions) to optimize their child’s survival.
So, how can parents best prepare themselves to keep baby safe? By participating in a traditional American Heart Association CPR class for infants, children, and adults. CPR is a hands-on skill that requires hands-on practice. Effective CPR technique enhances survival and minimizes long-term disability. Practicing and reviewing the information every few months is a parents’ best defense. Look for a class that provides hands-on practice with industry-standard manikins, includes an AED component, focuses on prevention of injury & respiratory incidents, and is taught by instructors with real-world experience in responding to situations. Remember that nannies or anyone else involved in the child's care needs to take a class too. Insist on seeing the CPR certification card for any babysitter or nanny who takes care of your child.