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CPR training for parents


If your child stopped breathing today, would you know what to do?

This is the question Fenton O’Leary (@PEMDocSyd) and the team from the Children’s Hospital at Westmead asked. 348 parents and carers were surveyed.

  • Only half had received formal CPR training.
  • Only 11% knew the correct rate for chest compressions and the correct ratio of compressions to breaths.
  • A surprising 8% had performed real CPR.

It seems as if the major reason for not performing CPR was a lack of knowledge. Whilst it makes sense that parents and carers of high-risk children are trained in basic life support, everyone should have enough familiarity with the process to comfortably AND confidently perform basic life-saving measures.

With this in mind, an online module was created. This truly outstanding piece of FOAMEd (Free Open Access Medical Education) provides parents, grandparents, babysitters and carers with the knowledge required to perform CPR.

By doing as little or as much as they want online, users can increase their confidence to do something while waiting for emergency services to arrive safely knowing that any CPR is better than no CPR. And whilst these modules have been specifically designed for infants and children, the principles apply to adult basic resuscitation – especially the module on AED use.

The free module can be found at the Sydney Children’s Hospital Health Promotion Unit page

Please consider pointing parents in the direction of this resource. The team are now hard at work coming up with resources for the non-English speaking community members.

CPR training poster for parents – child

CPR training poster for parents – baby

CPR Training for Parents Brochure


Cu J, Phan P, O’Leary FM. Knowledge and attitude towards paediatric cardiopulmonary resuscitation among the carers of patients attending the Emergency Department of the Children’s Hospital at Westmead. Emergency Medicine Australasia. 2009 Oct 1;21(5):401-6. full text here

Rajan S, Wissenberg M, Folke F, Hansen CM, Lippert FK, Weeke P, Karlsson L, Søndergaard KB, Kragholm K, Christensen EF, Nielsen SL. Out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in children and adolescents: incidences, outcomes, and household socioeconomic status. Resuscitation. 2015 Mar 31;88:12-9.

Moser DK, Dracup K, Doering LV. Effect of cardiopulmonary resuscitation training for parents of high-risk neonates on perceived anxiety, control, and burden. Heart & Lung: The Journal of Acute and Critical Care. 1999 Oct 31;28(5):326-33.

Knight LJ, Wintch S, Nichols A, Arnolde V, Schroeder AR. Saving a Life After Discharge: CPR Training for Parents of High‐Risk Children. Journal for Healthcare Quality. 2013 Jan 1;35(1):9-17.



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