“From the moment they placed you in my arms…you snuggled right into my heart.” – E.D.
As promised, I’m ecstatic to announce the recent birth of our daughter – Mila Valentina Chau! Yes, she did snuggle right into our hearts and both, my wife and I, are feeling over the moon as evident in the photo:-)
To celebrate, I would like to share some vital information every parent should know when emergencies arise regarding your baby. As part of the Emergency Response Team (ERT) at work, I understand how crucial being educated and prepared for an unforeseen emergency event is, especially when it pertains to your fragile child and time is of the essence.
If y ou don’t believe me, just look at the rescue of a 5-month old baby in Miami yesterday and how roadside CPR saved this baby’s life. With this in mind, I would like to provide you with the top things every parent should know how to perform on their child should unexpected emergencies occur.
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) – Infants:
CPR is a combination of rescue breathing (mouth-to-mouth resuscitation) and chest compressions. It is mainly used when your child isn’t breathing which could occur during suffocation, drowning, poisoning, smoke inhalation, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), etc. With proper CPR applied, parents could assist with not only restoring blood circulation but also increasing the amount of oxygen to their child’s brain and other vital organs.
To help you remember the simple steps for CPR, I would recommend using the acronyms CAB which stands for circulation, airway, and breathing.
1. Check if your baby is responding to verbal and physical cues, such as a shout or tap on the shoulders. Unresponsive babies must be placed immediately on their back on a firm flat surface (e.g. table, floor).
2. Place two fingers (one hand) just below the imaginary horizontal line between baby’s nipples and begin compressing their chest gently at a rate of 100 compressions per minute. The chest compressions should be approximately 1/3 the depth of their chest which is about 1.5 inches and you should only do 30 compressions at a time.
1. After every 30 chest compressions are completed, you must open the airway by lifting their chin with two fingers in an effort to tilt their head horizontally. Please ensure that the airway path is open and that the head is not tilted too far back which could also restrict proper airflow.
2. Check for signs of breathing by putting your head down next to your baby’s mouth so that you’re looking at their feet. If you do not hear any breathing or notice their chest rising within 10 seconds, proceed with the next steps immediately.
1. Fully cover your baby’s mouth and nose with your mouth.
2. Give a gentle puff of air, wait one second, and then give a second puff of air. Check to see if your baby’s chest is rising and that he, or she, is breathing. If so, give another rescue breath. If not, repeat the “airway” procedure and give another rescue breath.
3. Remember, the general rule of thumb is giving two breaths after every 30 chest compressions and you’ll continue with CPR until you see signs of life or until the emergency medical team arrives.
Please note that while you perform CPR, it’s vital that someone nearby calls 911 immediately for you. If you’re alone, and you find that CPR is not working within 2 minutes, you must call 911 so that h elp is on its way while you perform the remainder of the life-saving techniques listed above.
Of course, other instances exist where you may notice that your baby is unable to make any sounds, or cough. If this is the case, your baby might be choking due to an object blocking their airway and the following procedure should be performed:
Heimlich Manuever – Infants:
1. Have someone nearby call 911. If no one is around, you must dial 911 immediately prior to performing the steps below.
2. Place your baby facedown on your forearm so that their head is lower than their chest.
3. Support your baby’s head with your palm resting against your thighs and ensure that their mouth is not covered and their neck is not twisted.
4. Using the heel of your hand, give 5 back slaps between your baby’s shoulder blades.
5. If the object(s) does not come out, support your baby’s head and turn them faced up on your thighs. Then place 2 fingers just below the nipple line similar to the CPR instructions above and give 5 quick chest thrusts.
6. Continue giving 5 back slaps and 5 chest thrusts until object is removed or your baby faints. If your baby faints, perform the CPR steps highlighted above until emergency crews arrive.
To end this post, I leave you with a quote from Albert Einstein who wisely stated that “the world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” So don’t be a deer caught in headlights when emergencies occur pertaining to your precious baby – take immediate action because it could mean the difference between life and death.