Do You Know CPR?

Updated on July 01, 2011
M.F. asks from Scottsdale, AZ
25 answers

There was a question earlier this morning that got me wondering why so many parents feel it is unnecessary for family caregivers and themselves to know CPR. In fact, many responders felt it was just a first-time mom's craziness to insist caregivers take a CPR class before they can watch the baby. I am a chldcare provider and it is expected of me to know CPR and First Aid since I care for other peoples' children. I recertify my CPR/First Aid every 2 years, as does my husband and my mother. My MIL who watches our children weekly also is certified, as is anyone who I use as a babysitter. I do not think it is an outrageous request to make of someone responsible for the welfare of your child to be able to perform basic life-saving measures. The majority of the responders to this question also felt that knowing how to dial 911 was sufficient, but what about those precious minutes between an emergency and the paramedics arrival? Those are minutes the child is spending with no heartbeat or breathing, technically dead. If there was something you could be doing to help save your child, wouldn't you want to be able to do it knowledgably, without panic and without having your first experience with it be as a 911 operator is talking you through it?
Why don't more parents take basic CPR? We expect everyone else caring for our children (daycares, teachers, etc.) to know what to do in case of an emergency, shouldn't we, as parents, be just as prepared?

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answers from Dallas on

Yes I know how, but I'm not certified anymore. My hubby is a respiratory therapist and has done CPR for reals many a times in trying to resuscitate patients.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

No I don't and I should. I'd like to. In fact, I think I'll find a class close by to take (my kids are 18, 16, 14), it's an excellent life skill. Wonder whether it shouldn't be a required part of high school health class, CPR training. You are right, I agree.


Thanks for the reminder!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

A month or so after the birth of my first, I got myself CPR/1st Aid certified and told my sister, Mother and Aunt that they should join me in the class to get it too. They ALL saw the importance of knowing this basic life saving information and gladly paid their fees and took it with me!

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Seattle on

I think it's important for parents and caregivers to know CPR, but I probably would not require for relatives that occasionally watch my daughter to recertify every two years.
I have been certified for many many years for my work and don't feel the need to keep being recertified since I don't need it for work any more. But I actually think that EVERYONE should have at least taken one course in CPR in their life.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I've taken CPR training more than once, along with basic first aid. I do not have a current certification. I've never had to do CPR on anyone. I am quite confident I could perform CPR effectively if I ever need to. Not just because I've been taught the basic procedure, but that I feel I am able to stay calm in crises situations.

I would not require that anyone who cares for my child is certified in CPR/First Aid for a couple of reasons - first, this will drastically limit my daughter's social life, and two, just because one person has had this training and another has not, does not at all guarantee that the person caring for your child will make the correct snap decision in a crisis situation. I trust the people I leave my daughter with, as I hope they trust me with their children occasionally. Third reason is, I think it would be insulting to ask another parent to see their CPR certification before dropping my daughter at a birthday party or playdate.... If anyone did this to me, I would be insulted, to say the least.

We can not be in total control of our children's safety, no matter how much we would like to be.

I'm curious how many moms on this site have ever had to do CPR on a child in their care??

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Yep. CPR for healthcare providers certified.

Although, quite frankly, I don't trust the vast majority of people to preform CPR accurately on children... I would still rather they had the training, purely so that they don't freeze in an emergency.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I'm certified and I get rectified every 2 years!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Yes, since I was in High school so I could babysit. Then it was required when working in retail and I try to keep updated on the latest techniques.. I should take refresher course..

No one knows when an emergency could happen. Phones my not be working, no else is around and you have to step in..

I just hope others would be willing to help me or my friends and family also..

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I have been meaning to learn it ever since I was at a pool party where the ONE person that knew CPR, by an act of God, stayed a little longer than she had meant to that day and ended up saving a little girl's life. This little girl had had years of swimming lessons and was perfectly comfortable in the water but something went wrong that day and she swallowed water and sunk to the bottom of the pool. By the time she was pulled out she was not alive anymore....the ONE person there that knew how to perform CPR was able to bring her back. If this woman had left when she had planned to the girl would now be in a grave. Because of this I feel that it should be MANDATORY for pool owners to know it. I really need to go ahead and relearn in. I did learn it in high school but am not sure I would know what to do.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

I do know CPR. I didn't get recertified or anything yet. I think mine expire last year. Still pretty confident that I can do it though. Let me tell you why some people don't

My uncle is a body builder, needless to say he is a very big guy. He went to be CPR certified years ago. During the compressions part he was so nervous that he really pushed hard, and collapsed the dummy. The guy doing the training looked at him and said, "If that were a real person you would have just killed her." My uncle never went back.

My mom is a train wreck when a crisis happens. Seriously I think she would do much more harm in her panic trying to perform CPR than good. She KNOWS she would.

There are just some people that can't handle those types of situations.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Fargo on

I think it's extremely valuable and I am in total agreement with your post. I don't understand why people are so dead set against it!

I have never used CPR on anyone, but I have done the Heimlich (sp?) manuver TWICE on my son when he was an infant. He had an affinity for stuffing any rock he could find into his mouth and he was FAST!!! Both times I calmly flipped him over onto my arm and popped the rock out.
I was certified every year due to my job and was ready for an emergency. I am grateful that so many people are familiar with life saving measures. I sure as hell am not going to be sitting around wringing my hands while a child in my care is turning blue!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

An instructor once asked, "Who should be CPR certified?" his answer "Everyone!" You are absolutely right, every second counts! People who might panic in an emergency will be less panicky if they know what to do in an emergency.
BTW, the standards are changing and CCC is becoming the new standard. It stands for Continuous Chest Compressions. I'm not sure when American Heart will make the change, but the survival rate has dramatically increased with CCC.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I used to be CPR certified from work. I should go back and get re certified...thanks for the reminder!
I have had to do the Heimlich on my son and it was so scary! But, crazy enough, that candy shot right out of his mouth.
It is extremely important to know how to save our children. So, maybe not even a CPR class but a first aid? Either one...I gotta go and do it!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

New York just started requiring it for child care providers in the past year. My actual certification to DO CPR is expired but I'm a certified trainer for First Aid and CPR and we teach classes to child care providers. My husband has to take it for his job as well as he works with adults with developmental disabilities. Maybe some people feel it is something people know "intuitively" because it is compressions or compressions and breaths, whether they know the counts or not. Not sure. I feel better about people watching children knowing CPR myself.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Hi M.,

I am in agreement with you. Both my husband and I know CPR and I know that his parents and my parents do as well. We do need to be prepared and so does whoever takes care of our children. You're not alone in believing that this is something necessary.:o)

I. K.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Yes, I have been trained in CPR, First Aid etc. I will not allow ANYONE to watch my children without having this knowledge. It is critical that in the event of an emergency---they know what to do! I personally had to use it with my child in 2 emergency situations. If I didn't know how to do it, I would have such a huge tragedy. I can't even bring myself to say it or think about it. Please, to all the parents---get certified and every member of your family! You never know when you will need to use it!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

In my homecountry in Europe if you want a drive a car you have to know CPR. I took a course with the Red Cross. Then later I took a course in infant CPR for my job ( I was teaching little ones and you know they put everything in their mouths). I feel yes we as partents should know what to do when something happens. It is not hard and the what you learn might come in handy.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I've taken both CPR and First Aid many times over the years though I am not currently up to date. My last CPR refresher was when my 2.5 year old was born. I have not taken the First Aid part in years but on rare occasion I needed to remember something I could (after maybe 6 times taking the class). We always needed to take CPR and First Aid to work at sleep away camp but I haven't done that in 15+ years. We also learned CPR in high school health class.

I wouldn't mind updating my certification but the trick is making time to do it, finding a class you can get to, arranging childcare, etc.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Harrisburg on

You're right, parents should be prepared. I know CPR but you know what, I have no idea what I would do and if I would even remember the basics when the moment kicked in.

So in theory it is nice to have or know, but in reality, the gut reaction is what will kick in.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Yes, it is required by my profession. But I took it many times before it was required. I really think once you have taken 10 times you shouldn't have to get recertified!
I don't know why more parents don't take the class. Isn't 2-4 hours of time worth it in case there was an emergency?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I am 36 years old and I have maintained my CPR certification since I was 16 years old. I have a 5 year old and I have never let her be in anyone's care that did not have CPR certification, including family and friends. It is not a big deal for me to request it. I will also ask other parents for play dates if they are CPR certified, and if they have a gun in the home. So far, all the parents could already meet these conditions. I would have no problem politely turning down an invitation, or hosting it myself or at a park if the family owned a gun or were not CPR certified. And we have a large group of friends and social activities:)

I think it is interesting how many people said that unless there is a medical condition that it is not necessary. Usually, respiratory distress is not forewarned by a medical condition, especially in an infant. There are so many environmental factors in place that I would not be offended if someone asked me to be certified. And frankly, I could not imagine trying to learn while on the phone with the 911 operator, to me that seems really hard. It really does help to take the class and practice the techniques first.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Yes, I know it.
I took a class.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Yes, I have done First Aid/CPR for the Professional Rescuer because it was a requirement for my job (along with lifeguarding and hiv/aids educator certification).

If someone is going to be watching a child on a regular basis/consistent schedule as a childcare provider, I think it is required. But if we're talking casual babysitter, I think expecting Grandma to be fully trained for the occasional babysitting jaunt (and refusing to let her see the kid if she doesn't get certified) is a bit ridiculous.

I've been certified since 1997 and have never had to do rescue breathing, conscious choking, unconscious choking, chest compressions, or AED.


answers from St. Louis on

I got certified. I didn't want my children to die if I could have prevented it.

The thing that got me about that post is they didn't want to hire their aunt or mother in law, they wanted free help but they also wanted them to have their requirements. I get that they would pay but guess what, their time is worth something too.

Haven't you heard never look a gift horse in the mouth?

If you don't like the level of care provided for free fine! Hire someone. Just don't complain that the certified person doesn't love the child like grandma could. You have your choices, love or over protection.


answers from Washington DC on

Yes, I have a current CPR and First Aid certificates....

i've also been a life guard so I have that training under my belt as well.

However, like someone posting earlier said - just because you are certified doesn't mean you won't panic when the emergency occurs...

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