CPR and Water Safety:  What to Know

Let’s go over some terms:

  • CPR: Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (basically reviving the heart, through the lungs)
  • The Rescuer: The person giving CPR is called a rescuer and always follows 3 main steps, know as C-A-B
  • CPR Steps C-A-B:
    • C: do chest compressions
      • Use both hands, one placed over the other, to press on the person’s chest many times in a row to move blood out of the heart that has stopped beating.  In between each compression lift both hands off of the chest to let the check go back to where it was to allow blood to flow back towards the heart.
    • A: check the airway
      • After 30 compressions, the rescuer must check the airway to see if the person is breathing.
    • B: do rescue breathing
      • If the person is not breathing, two rescue breaths are given.  This is called artificial respiration,  mouth-to-mouth rescue breathing, or mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
      • The rescuer puts their mouth over the other’s person’s opened mouth, and blows, forcing air into the lungs.  Chest compressions should start again right after the two breaths are given.

CPR should be used whenever someone has stopped breathing.  Call 911 immediately and only perform CPR yourself until the paramedics arrive and take over. 

Water Safety Tips:

ü     Buddy Up: Always swim with a partner.  Even skilled swimmers can get unexpected muscle cramps and require assistance to safety.

ü     Get Skilled: Learn some life-saving skills (such as CPR), or take a class (see our suggestions below)

ü     Know Your Limits: Don’t go into deep water if you are just learning to swim or are not as skilled.  Always stay in shallow water so you can stand.

ü     Swim in Safe Areas Only: It’s best to only swim in places supervised by a lifeguard. If you find yourself caught in a current, don’t panic and don’t fight the current. Swim parallel to the shore until you are able to get out of the current.  Gradually make your way to shore. If you’re unable to swim, stay calm and float with the current.  It will usually slow down and then you can swim to shore.

ü     Be Careful Diving: Only dive in areas that are known to be safe, such as the deep end of a supervised pool.   If you are in a cloudy lake or river, test the depth by going in feet first.

Anyone can be a rescuer, learn about taking CPR classes near you. You can call the American Heart Association (1-877-242-4277) to find out about CPR courses in your area.  Our suggestions are:

Valley Care, www.valleycare.com

Infant CPR Class: $20/person; $35/ two people

Register by calling (800) 719-9111 

John Muir, www.johnmuirhealth.com

Infant & Child CPR & Safety Class: $75/ person

Register by calling (925) 941-7900


*selected information provided from www.kidshealth.org