Should You Take an Infant CPR Class?
Most new parents are offered the opportunity to take infant CPR classes before the birth of their child. Some parents don't hear about these classes until afterward. Do you really need to take an infant CPR class, though? Is it useful? Here's what you need to know.
Why Should You Learn Infant CPR?
One of the quickest things you learn as a parent is just how dangerous life can be for a little one. When it comes to learning CPR (and other first aid skills), this knowledge allows you to help provide care to your small child during a choking event or other accident if you have to wait for emergency medical services to arrive.
CPR is a very helpful skill to learn in the event that your infant chokes, experiences cardiac arrest, or even drowns. According to CPRCertified.com:
...if CPR is delivered within the first 2 minutes of a child becoming unconscious or unresponsive, there’s a better-than-average chance of recovery with CPR.
Having this essential bit of childcare knowledge can save your child's life if a serious emergency situation were to occur.
When is the Best Time to Take an Infant CPR Class?
Many parents are offered the opportunity to take infant CPR classes before their child is born—this is commonly offered by many hospitals. Taking one of these classes before your child is born is the ideal time to do so since you'll actually have a bit more time on your hands (and a little bit more energy, too). It's a lot easier to get out of the house before having a little one to lug around with you.
However, it's still beneficial to take one of these classes even after your child is born. Basically, the ideal time to learn the skills that you'll acquire in an infant CPR class is any time before your child actually experiences an emergency in which the knowledge and ability to perform such actions are required. Even parents of toddlers can benefit from learning the skills and information provided in an infant CPR class.
Where Do You Take an Infant CPR Class?
Most commonly, many hospitals offer these classes to expectant parents. However, local fire stations will also hold events that allow others to sign up for infant CPR classes to learn what they need to know. Parents and caregivers will simply need to check in their area to see what's available.
The American Red Cross website also offers online CPR courses for those who may be unable to attend in-person classes.
What You'll Learn in an Infant CPR Class
Infant CPR classes typically cover a variety of infant-related safety topics. This includes the primary issue of choking and breathing-related emergencies in general, but parents and caregivers may also be instructed on other potential health concerns that may impact children below the age of 12 months. Some of the possible safety topics include crib safety, car seat safety, and other general information that new parents may need to be aware of during their first months in parenthood.
Regardless of the range of information provided, parents and caregivers will be provided with the information necessary to prevent serious harm from coming to their new little bundles and learn how to resolve some of the most common health hazards if they do occur.
Is It Necessary to Take an Infant CPR Class?
It is not a requirement for a parent to take one of these classes, but it is incredibly beneficial for all potential caregivers to learn how to perform CPR on an infant as well as learn more about managing other potential safety issues. With safety being such a significant issue in small children (especially ages 5 and under), the more a parent or caregiver can learn regarding how to help a child or prevent injury, the better.
Plenty of parents have never taken an infant CPR class, so if you don't manage to attend one of these classes, do not let the missed opportunity cause any feelings of inadequacy or make you question your self-worth as a caregiver. Not all parents have their child experience a choking-related emergency at any point in childhood, but having instruction on how to handle such a situation only means that you are more prepared to help your own child (or someone else's) in the event of an emergency.
At Tired Mama Resources, we're here to help provide as much information as possible to parents and caregivers that have questions about their child's health and wellbeing and how to provide the best possible care. However, although we try our best to cite credible sources for the information provided, the information on our website should not be substituted for seeking medical care or treatment for a child experiencing any health emergency.
If your child is at an increased risk of choking due to certain health conditions, please consult with your child's pediatrician regarding the best preventative measures related to this risk and the appropriate plan of action for when such an event occurs.
For additional information about infant CPR and where to find classes:
American Heart Association: Heartsaver® Pediatric First Aid CPR AED Training
American Red Cross: Training Services
ProCPR.org: What You Need to Know Before Taking Infant and Child CPR Classes
National CPR Foundation: Infant (Age Less Than 1 Year, Excluding Newborn)*
*Note: This website also contains information on CPR for other age groups as well.