How to Teach CPR to Children

Children performing CPR on dummy

All adults should know how to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), notes KidsHealth from Nemours. It can also be helpful for kids to know this as well. Although most children aren't strong enough to perform CPR until they are teenagers, it is a great idea to teach this important information to kids as young as 5 or 6--so that it will be ingrained in them by the time their bodies have grown up. Luckily, teaching CPR is as easy as ABC.

Teach your child about the basic workings of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems--e.g., that our organs need blood, which the heart pumps throughout the body. This will help them better understand the purposes and benefits of CPR.

Think of the ABCs. This is a simple way to remember how to perform CPR. A stands for Airway. The first step in CPR is to make sure the person's airway is not blocked. Have your child open her mouth and look in the mirror to see the opening at the back. Tell her that this opening is how air gets into the lungs, and it needs to be clear.

Teach that B is for Breathing. The second step is to verify that the person is breathing. If the injured person is not breathing, then someone performing CPR would help him breathe by blowing air into his mouth. Have your child feel your chest and listen to your mouth as you breathe.

Teach that C is for Circulation. If the injured person's heart has stopped beating, then someone performing CPR would help the blood circulate by pushing on the injured person's chest--manually pumping the heart for him. Have your child listen to your heartbeat and feel your pulse.

Have your child repeat the steps aloud often and practice them on you or on a doll to help her remember these steps. Always remind her that CPR is for grown-ups to perform, and that she should call for help in an emergency.


It should be noted that teaching children how to dial 911 is even more important than teaching them CPR. Be sure they understand that calling for help is the first action they should take in an emergency.