CPR can be lifesaving, but it is best done by someone trained in an accredited CPR course. The newest techniques emphasize compression over rescue breathing and airway, reversing long-standing practice.
The procedures described in this article are not a substitute for CPR training.
All parents and those who take care of children should learn infant and child CPR if they haven't already. See www.heart.org for classes near you.
Time is very important when dealing with an unconscious child who is not breathing. Permanent brain damage begins after only 4 minutes without oxygen, and death can occur as soon as 4 - 6 minutes later.
Machines called automated external defibrillators (AEDs) can be found in many public places, and are available for home use. These machines have pads or paddles to place on the chest during a life-threatening emergency. They use computers to automatically check the heart rhythm and give a sudden shock if, and only if, that shock is needed to get the heart back into the right rhythm.
When using an AED, follow the instructions exactly.