Learn first aid for a child who is unresponsive and breathing
This advice is for helping a child (1 year to puberty) who is unresponsive and breathing.
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If a child is not moving and does not respond when you call them or gently shake their shoulders, they are unresponsive. Shout for help.
1. Check their breathing by tilting their head back and looking and feeling for breaths.
Do this for no more than ten seconds.
Tilting the child’s head back opens their airway by pulling the tongue forward.
If they are breathing, you will see their chest moving and you may hear their breath or feel it on your cheek.
If they are breathing, move on to step two.
Find out what to do if they are not breathing.
2. Move them onto their side and tilt their head back.
Putting them on their side with their head tilted back helps keep the airway open. It ensures their tongue falls forward and any fluid drains out. This will help the child to continue to breathe.
3. Call 999 as soon as possible.
If you can't call 999, get someone else to do it.
While waiting for the ambulance, talk to the child and reassure them. Make sure their head remains tilted back.
Watch how to help a child who is unresponsive and breathing (1 minute 3 seconds)
Common questions about first aid for a child who is unresponsive and breathing
Should I talk to the child if they are unresponsive?
Yes, talk to them and reassure them. Even if they do not respond to you, they may still be able to hear what is going on.
How do I help a baby who is unresponsive and breathing?
How do I help an adult who is unresponsive and breathing?
Email us if you have any other questions about first aid for a child who is unresponsive and breathing.
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