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Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, are the life-saving steps required when a person has stopped breathing or their heart has stopped pumping. CPR may require supporting a person by opening their breathing passages (airways), helping them to breathe or compressing the chest to help the heart pump blood.
Most families, parents and care givers will never need to perform CPR on their own child or family member. Our hospital CPR training aims to support and train families of children who are at higher risk of needing CPR before they go home to help make them as safe as possible. Your medical team will speak to you if
they think CPR training is needed in your situation, but you should always raise it with them if you believe it is needed.
Training works when you understand what you will be learning. Please watch the video below relative to your session before attending your CPR training.
During the face-to-face training, you will be taken through the steps of CPR with hands on practice. Other content may be covered if your team has identified any additional training needs for your child.
After completing CPR training, you will:
If you have any questions about how CPR training relates to your child and their condition, ask your medical team and follow their recommendations for care.
CPR skills need to be practiced and refreshed with time, ideally every year.
If your child remains at high risk, additional training may be able to be provided during future admissions. Otherwise skills can be refreshed through other training programs in the community.
I have a teenager – can they be trained to help their sibling if needed?
The more family members we train the better. This may include an older child if appropriate.
What if I don’t perform CPR well?
Any attempt at CPR is better than NO attempt. Always call OOO (112 mobile phone) and they can provide support on the phone while help is coming.
Can I get refresher training?
We cannot offer training to every family, but if your child continues to be high risk, please ask for further training through your medical team.
Can I break my child’s bones if I press too hard?
It is very unlikely, however pushing hard on the chest allows oxygen to go to the brain which is very important for you child.
Developed by The Royal Children's Hospital Education Hub and Resuscitation Program. We acknowledge the input of RCH consumers and carers.
Reviewed October 2021.
Kids Health Info is supported by The Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation. To donate, visit
This information is intended to support, not replace, discussion with your doctor or healthcare professionals. The authors of these consumer health information handouts have made a considerable effort to ensure the information is accurate, up to date and easy to understand. The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies, information perceived as misleading, or the success of any treatment regimen detailed in these handouts. Information contained in the handouts is updated regularly and therefore you should always check you are referring to the most recent version of the handout. The onus is on you, the user, to ensure that you have downloaded the most up-to-date version of a consumer health information handout.