Unresponsive Child

If a child is not moving and does not respond when you call them or gently shake their shoulders, they are unresponsive.

1. Check for breathing by tilting their head back and looking and feeling for breaths.

Tilting the child’s head back opens the airway by pulling the tongue forward.

If they are not breathing, their chest and stomach will not be moving and you will not hear or feel their breaths.

If they are not breathing, move on to step two.

Find out what to do if they are breathing.

2. Tell someone to call 999.

If you are on your own, call 999 after you’ve spent one minute giving them rescue breaths and chest compressions.

3. Give five rescue breaths: tilt their head back, seal your mouth over their mouth and pinch their nose. Blow five times into the child’s mouth.

By blowing into their mouth you are topping up the oxygen levels in their blood. The oxygen you give them helps to keep their organs alive.

4. Give 30 chest compressions: push firmly in the middle of their chest with one hand so the chest goes inward, then release.

By doing these chest compressions you are acting as the heart by keeping blood pumping around their body, helping keep the vital organs alive, including the brain. If you are small or the child is large, you may need to use two hands.

5. Give two rescue breaths. Continue with cycles of 30 chest compressions and two rescue breaths until help arrives.

Watch how to help a child who is unresponsive and not breathing (1 minute 43 seconds)