Learn CPR

Timely and effective CPR can save a life. Refresh skills yearly.

The Basics

  • Rescue breathing is necessary (even while in the water if safe to perform effectively) for drowning victims. (American Heart Association)
  • Children receiving CPR should always receive rescue breathing. (American Heart Association)
  • For drowning victims, the American Heart Association (see question #3) “recommends CPR with a combination of compressions and breaths for any victims of drowning”.
  • In the case of children or drowning victims, if you already know how to perform CPR with breaths and are confident in your skills, give both compressions and breaths. If not, perform compression-only CPR.
  • Learn CPR with breaths, and refresh skills yearly.
  • If there are barriers (cost, travel, etc.) to learning CPR with breaths, consider learning compression only Adult CPR.
  • Remember, any CPR (e.g. compression only) is better than no CPR being administered at all.
  • Overview of the differences between infant, child, and adult CPR. (CPR Certified)
  • VIDEO: Overview of learning CPR. (News 9, YouTube)
  • Carry CPR directions, videos, and illustrations wherever you go. Download this free First Aid app by American Red Cross.

Action Items

Enroll in a CPR class. Refresh CPR skills every year, and update CPR certification every two years.

American Heart Association, American Red Cross, and The Expedition School are just a few organizations that offer CPR certification courses.

  • Compression only CPR for teens and adults can be taught via TAKE10 and is free.
  • The American Heart Association also offers instruction in “ Hands-Only CPR.
  • Post CPR guidelines near every pool, hot tub, and spa.
  • Review all of the Layers of Protection.
  • Take and share the Water Safety Quiz.

Dive Deeper

Why do drowning victims respond most favorably to the combination of compressions and rescue breathing?

  • “In sudden cardiac arrest, the body is oxygenated when the heart suddenly stops. In drowning, the heart stops due in large part to suffocation, causing a severe lack of oxygen.” (USLA)
  • “While hands-only CPR may be effective in cases of sudden heart attack, cardiac arrest during drowning is due, in large part, to lack of oxygen. The body is thus starved of oxygen and needs urgent replenishment in addition to circulation of blood that is provided by chest compressions.” (International LifeSaving Federation, Medical Position Statement 15)

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