Best Way to Do Heart Massage to Your Child

If your child’s heart has stopped beating, heart massage (external chest compression) may start it working again and save his life. This has to be done at the same time as the kiss of life because a child whose heart has stopped beating will soon stop breathing.

How to tell if the heart has stopped

  • Feel the child’s pulse. The easiest pulse to feel is in the neck, below the jaw and in line with the earlobe. Practise feeling your own until you become used to finding it.

Massage to Your Child Best Way to Do Heart Massage to Your Child

  • Look at the child’s pupils: they will be larger than usual.
  • Look at the skin: it will be pale or greyish.
  • Put your ear to the chest, on the left of the breastbone, and listen for the heart.
  • Feel in the same place for the heart. If you’re already doing the kiss of life, but the child’s colour is getting worse and if you don’t think you can feel a pulse or feel or hear the heartbeat, start doing heart massage.

What is heart massage?

When you do heart massage, you compress the heart between the breastbone and spine. Until it starts beating by itself, this does the heart’s job of pumping the blood round.

How to do it

  • Lay the child on his back on a hard, flat surface.
  • Find the centre of the breastbone (the bone which runs down the centre of the chest).
  • Give one sharp, relatively hard blow with the side of your hand on the left side of the lower part of the breastbone. Sometimes this starts the heart beating.
  • Place the heel of your hand on the lower half of the breastbone and press firmly at a rate of about 100 compressions per minute, to a depth of about 2.5-3.5 centimetres. For a child under two, press two fingers on the middle of the breastbone about 100 times a minute, to a depth of about 1.5-2.5 centimetres.
  • After five compressions, do one kiss of life breath.

Massage to Your Child 1 Best Way to Do Heart Massage to Your Child

  • Continue heart massage and the kiss of life, blowing in one breath for every five heart compressions.
  • Check the pulse every three minutes or so. When the heart starts beating, stop doing heart massage.


  • Don’t press on the child’s ribs because you might easily break them.
  • Never do heart massage if the heart is beating.

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