Many similarities exist between the BLS guidelines for Adults and Children. The main differences between the two are:
- For children, if two rescuers are available to do CPR, the compression to breaths ratio is 15:2; if only one rescuer is available, the ratio is 30:2 for all age groups.
- For very small children, you can use one-handed chest compressions.
- The depth of compression may be different. For a child, compress the chest at least one-third the depth of the chest. This may be less than two inches for small children, but will be approximately two inches for larger children.
- If you are the only person at the scene and find an unresponsive child, perform CPR for two minutes BEFORE you call EMS or go look for an AED.
- In children, primary cardiac events are not common. Cardiac arrest is most commonly preceded by respiratory problems. Survival rates improve with early intervention for respiratory problems. Remember that prevention is the first link in the Pediatric Chain of Survival!
- If you witness a cardiac arrest in a child, call EMS and get an AED just as you would in the Adult BLS sequence.