Many similarities exist between the BLS guidelines for Adults and Children. The main differences between the two are:
- For children, the compression to breaths ratio is 30:2 for one rescuer and 15:2 for two rescuers for all age groups.
- 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 (4-5 cm).
- If you are the only rescuer at the scene and find an unresponsive child, perform CPR for two minutes before you call EMS or before you go look for an AED. The ILCOR emphasizes that cell phones are available everywhere now, and most have a built-in speakerphone, so you can call EMS while being with the child.
- 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 as you would in the Adult BLS sequence.