accessibility & help

Baby and Child First Aid

First aid for a baby who is
unresponsive and not breathing

Watch this video, in which a baby is treated when found unresponsive and not breathing, and remind yourself of the key steps below.


Check for breathing. Tilt their head back and look and feel for breaths. If they are not breathing, move on to step two.

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Tilting the baby’s head back opens their airway by pulling the tongue forward. Looking at their chest to see if it’s moving, and feeling for breaths on your cheek, will help you tell if they’re breathing or not. If they are not breathing, they may also look pale and blue.


Tell someone to call 999.

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If you are on your own carry out rescue breaths and chest compressions as described below, for one minute, and then call 999.


Give five rescue breaths. Tilt their head back, seal your mouth over their mouth and nose and blow five times into the baby.

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You are acting as the lungs by blowing into them and topping up the oxygen levels in the baby’s blood. This oxygen is needed to keep their organs alive.


Give 30 chest compressions. Push firmly in the middle of their chest with two fingers so that the chest goes inward, then release.

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You are acting as the heart by keeping blood pumping around their body and helping keep the vital organs, including the brain, alive.


Give two rescue breaths, then continue with cycles of 30 chest compressions and two rescue breaths until help arrives.

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Send us your stories

We love to hear from people who have stepped forward to help in a first aid emergency. If you have a first aid story that you'd be happy to share, please email including your name, telephone number and some brief details about what happened. The British Red Cross will only use your information to contact you about your first aid story.

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