Accidents are a part of daily life, especially when children are involved. These simple accidents can sometimes turn into life-threatening situations where knowing infant resuscitation is welcomed. Research conducted by the NY Department of Health shows that choking is the fourth leading cause of death in children under 5 years old. Moreover, babies do not have developed reflexes and are prone to vomiting and suffocating their fluids.
If the baby experiences oxygen deprivation for too long, there is a high possibility of the baby suffering from brain damage. An uninformed parent untrained in CPR risks their child’s life and lives in constant fear.
Understanding that parenting and CPR should go hand-in-hand is vital. The importance of CPR for babies is more than necessary, as you never know when you will need to intervene. This article elaborates more on the importance of CPR and newborn safety.
Are Cardiac Arrests Common in Babies
Sudden cardiac arrest in infants is rare if the baby is born healthy and without cardiac issues. However, infant CPR is necessary because babies, toddlers, and children under 5 years are prone to choking.
Food and small toys are the prime cause of choking in children. Babies often vomit in their mouths, which is a huge threat because they may suffocate. Still in their development phase, infants are unable to move their head during emergencies and help themselves. That’s why parents always ensure the baby burps before putting them to sleep.
It is not unusual for a baby to suffer an obstructed airway because of food or a small object like a toy, leading to asphyxia and cardiac arrest. In this case, the parent needs to react immediately, or the baby faces severe consequences for their life.
Below we elaborate on the symptoms of cardiac arrest in babies, so you can learn how to spot a baby in distress, and then we focus on the importance of infant CPR.
Symptoms of Cardiac Arrest in Babies
Airway obstruction and respiratory failure are the most common causes of cardiac arrest in newborns and infants. When a baby struggles and is in a life-threatening situation, they demonstrate physical symptoms. Namely, here are some of the most common signs:
- Difficulty breathing: This is usually the first sign because the baby begins to fight for air in abnormal breathing patterns.
- The skin turns bluish: Due to the lack of oxygen reaching all tissues in the body, the baby’s skin will become blue.
- Changes in the pupils: look for maximally dilated and fixed pupils
- Whistling sounds during inhaling: This means that they are struggling to grasp for air.
In such situations, the parents need to react quickly and follow the procedure for emergency response for newborns. So, what is the importance of infant CPR and what are the possible outcomes?
Possible Post-Cardiac Arrest Treatment Scenarios
The post-treatment may show positive results where the baby faces no further complications. However, there are also the side effects of offering the wrong infant CPR or the infant’s body remaining without oxygen for too long. Here are the possible outcomes:
- Brain injury or dysfunction: The brain heavily depends on oxygen to function properly and maintain the tissue homeostasis of the brain. However, if the baby is deprived of oxygen, this may lead to death or severe brain dysfunction.
- Myocardial dysfunction: The infant may show signs of impaired left ventricular systolic function.
- Systemic ischemia: Oxygen and energy depletion cause cellular and tissue damage as a post-cardiac arrest outcome.
- Persistestent pathophysiology: The baby may develop permanent irregularities in the respiratory system that will require extra guidance and treatments in the future.
Given the possible scenarios and the likeliness of a baby choking and undergoing a cardiac arrest, it’s more than obvious that newborn CPR should become part of a healthy parenting habit. Knowing the CPR techniques for infants can increase the survival chances and avoid the issues that may arrive upon surviving cardiac arrest.
Pediatric CPR classes are available all over the states, and they come in all formats to suit the parent’s needs and free time. Therefore, parents can choose to follow online, in-person CPR classes or a hybrid (a combination of online and in-person). Let’s see what infant CPR classes cover and what you need to know.
Why Are Newborn CPR Classes Important
As explained in the AHA journals, an unattended infant cardiac arrest or the inability to help a baby undergoing one can lead to death or severe consequences on their life. Knowing how to help by attending a CPR class for infants can provide the knowledge to save the life of an infant.
Namely, surviving an infant cardiac arrest does not mean the case is closed; quite the contrary. After the baby returns to life, it will have to be monitored for days to ensure the respiratory system can function and develop independently.
What do Newborn CPR Classes Cover
As the name implies, infant CPR classes focus only on learning and developing life-saving skills for newborns with the latest CPR techniques for infants. In other words, the candidates will be familiar with CPR preparedness, newborn safety, preventing and recognizing cardiac arrest in children, and breathing dysfunctions.
You can find numerous infant CPR classes, but not all are conducted by a certified instructor. We highly recommend looking for licensed instructors and reputable providers to ensure that the class follows the latest requirements for life-saving skills for newborns. Before you sign up for a class, make sure the CPR training provider is accredited by AHA or ARC.
It’s important to note that a person signing up for online classes will only cover the theoretical part of CPR. In-person and hybrid classes allow candidates to demonstrate their skills on a mannequin and ensure they are qualified. Having in-person classes allows you to learn and acquire skills that will prepare you for real-life situations.
At the end of the course, the candidates receive CPR certification for parents or a document that proves the person is skilled in newborn CPR.
Remember that the CPR techniques for infants, children, and adults differ according to the physique of the bodies. Knowing adult CPR does not make a person qualified for infant CPR, which is one of the most common reasons parents dismiss the importance of infant CPR.
When is the Ideal Time to Start Newborn CPR Classes?
The best time to sign up for a newborn CPR class is now. Yet, most of the time, the candidates signing up are expectant parents or already parents.
Ideally, the parent should take the infant CPR classes before the baby arrives for two reasons:
- Be prepared to react accordingly and calmly during an emergency (this especially applies to first-time parents).
- Attending the class before the baby arrives allows you to concentrate and learn the necessary skills. Plus, you have more time now than when the baby comes. Later you will have to put extra effort into remaining focused on all the responsibilities that arrive with newborns.
However, even if you have a baby, and even if it’s a few months old, it’s never too late to start a CPR class. CPR preparedness for infants is a priceless and life-changing skill to have. Therefore, do not hesitate to sign up for the class.
Ultimately, these classes do not target only parents but everyone. You don’t need to be a parent to acquire the infant’s CPR skills.
The Importance of CPR Training for Newborns: Final Say
Parents need to understand that parenting and CPR are connected. Sudden cardiac arrests in children may be rare, but it’s quite common for babies to reach a cardiac arrest stage via choking or inhaling a toy.
According to research conducted on parents, 64% of the participants said they are familiar with formal CPR training. However, 19% of the parents specified being skilled in adult-only CPR, while only 12% of the participants were trained in infant CPR. When asked whether to give CPR to a child or call for help, 61% answered to call for help before giving CPR.
Given the results of this research, we can conclude that parents without proper infant CPR classes can worsen the situation of their children. Sign up for an infant CPR class and learn how to help a child during an emergency.