CPR: Why Every Parent Should Know How to Do It

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CPR is an important tool that could be the difference between life and death when a victim suffers from cardiac arrest, nearly drowns, or becomes unconscious as a result of an accident or other medical condition. When CPR and first aid is applied in time, the damage done to the victim’s body can be minimised and their blood can keep flowing until professional medical help arrives to revive them and give them more extensive care.

As a parent, you know that your child can get into a variety of accidents and if your child suffers from a chronic condition that could cause them to collapse, you might be even more aware of the risk that something could go wrong someday. By getting your certification from a group like the National CPR Foundation, though, you can become more confident in your ability to remain in control and deliver life-saving first aid to your child whenever he or she might need it.

What Is CPR?

CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It is a first aid technique used to keep a person alive until professional help arrives after an episode of cardiac arrest or another serious accident that leaves the person unconscious. For example, a cardiac arrest could be caused by poisoning, drugs, a heart attack, heart disease, blood loss, a traumatic injury, anaphylaxis, or any disturbance in the heart’s rhythm.

Every cell in the body needs oxygen, nutrients, and a means to remove waste to thrive. Because nutrients and oxygen are carried throughout the body and to your cells by your blood, if your heart stops pumping and the blood does not get delivered, the body will begin to die because it will be deprived of the oxygen that it needs. It takes just 4 to 5 minutes for the brain cells to begin dying when they are not receiving oxygen and this could lead to brain damage, as well as death.

When CPR is administered right away, efforts can be made to keep blood flowing all over the body, delivering much-needed oxygen to the cells to keep the organs alive. Although CPR will not be able to restart a victim’s heart, it will help to keep them alive until an ambulance arrives with medical professionals who can then use a defibrillator to try to jumpstart the heart again with the help of electrical shocks.

Even Infants Might Need CPR

If you have an infant, knowing how to perform CPR is really important. By understanding how to recognise a medical emergency, and how to properly and safely perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and chest compressions on a little body, you could help your baby until you are able to hand him or her off to medical professionals who can take it from there. Failing to provide this immediate care could result in your baby’s body or brain being permanently damaged, and it also increases the risk that your baby will pass away.

A few of the scenarios in which CPR could be lifesaving for an infant include:

  • Choking
  • Suffocation
  • Poisoning
  • Nearly drowning
  • Asthma
  • Smoke inhalation
  • Electrical shock
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, also known as SIDS
  • Obstructive apnoea
  • Head trauma

Other Reasons Why Parents Should Learn How to Perform CPR

Children are active, and they can get themselves into a lot of trouble. Sometimes, they can even get themselves into situations that are dangerous for their health. For example, during an innocent summertime pool party, your child might dive into the deep end and risk nearly drowning. In that scenario, CPR could be lifesaving. Or, if your child loves running around on the playground with friends, a terrible fall could cause him or her to become unconscious and CPR might also be required to keep the child alive.

Even though you do not ever want to think about your child needing CPR, the truth is that anything can happen. Even having dinner with the family could result in your child choking and suffocating to the point that he or she loses consciousness. At that point, knowing how to clear the airway and perform CPR will make a big difference. Rather than standing there and feeling panicked and hopeless, you will be able to take charge of the situation, tell someone to call for an ambulance right away, and begin performing chest compressions that will help your son or daughter survive.

Research has proven that, in the event of cardiac arrest, a victim’s odds of surviving are much higher if CPR is used before a defibrillator becomes available. So, rather than just waiting for the ambulance to arrive, you can be taking active steps to help your child when a medical emergency occurs.

What Can You Expect to Learn During a CPR Class?

There are a lot of things that you can expect to learn during a CPR class, and if you also take a first aid course, you can learn even more techniques that you can use to help your child in the event of an emergency.

First off, in a typical CPR class, you will dive into how to assess a person’s state of health, such as their breathing and their heart rate. You will discover when CPR should be administered and you will grow confident in assessing an individual to determine if CPR would help and whether it is necessary until help arrives.

Then you will dive into how to perform CPR on children of all ages. This includes how to clear the airway safely to allow oxygen to flow into and out of the body, as well as how to perform rescue breaths in the most effective way to deliver even more oxygen into the lungs when the body needs it most. Plus, you will learn the most important component of CPR, which is chest compressions. You will learn where to apply the compressions, and at what depth you should go for the best results. On top of that, the instructor will let you know what rhythm to use when applying chest compressions in order to help the victim survive. And if you are going to apply rescue breaths along with chest compressions, you will also know the proper ratio for both so that you can give the victim air while still compressing the chest to keep the blood moving.

Be There for Your Child and Other Children

A lot of parents don’t take the time to enrol in a CPR course, so if you do, you can rest assured that at least you will know what to do during an emergency. You can step in and help by performing CPR, no matter where you are when a child becomes a victim. Whether you are out shopping, at a restaurant, or at your child’s school when an emergency occurs, you will know exactly what to do, and you will not have to rely on other parents knowing because you will be able to take action immediately.

Consider Taking a Class Today

As you can see, there are many great reasons why, as a parent, you should definitely sign up for a local CPR and first aid course. There are many courses available to choose from and you can even take them every few years in order to refresh your memory and learn about the latest techniques and recommendations from medical experts. Ultimately, knowing CPR could be the difference between saving your child, or someone else’s child, in an emergency, so it is an invaluable tool.

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