Learn Baby CPR with a nursery rhyme…

Ok, that does sound very weird, I know, but read on to find out more. 

Babies not breathing is parents’ biggest fear – but only one in four know what to do

StJ Ambulance

St John Ambulance has launched Nursery Rhymes Inc. a campaign that teaches parents and the wider public how to help a baby who’s stopped breathing. New research* shows that this is the first aid emergency parents are most worried about, yet only one in four know how to help. Nursery Rhymes Inc. teaches baby CPR in a short, clear and reassuring way to help parents remember what to do in an emergency.

The campaign features everyone’s favourite nursery rhyme characters who’ve come together to create a memorable rhyme to explain the technique. Incy Wincy Spider, Humpty Dumpty, Jack & Jill, and the Cat & the Fiddle will be appearing in a TV ad struggling to write the rhyme – though they have more luck in the longer online version, which promises to make baby CPR truly unforgettable in just two minutes with a catchy song.

Nursery Rhymes Inc. follows on from last year’s award winning The Chokeables, which taught parents how to help a choking baby and is credited with saving the lives of 46 children since its launch. The video, which has had over 10 million views online, forms part of the charity’s vision that everyone should know first aid.   

New research by the charity shows:

An unconscious and not breathing child is the most frightening scenario for three out of four parents (74%)

Yet only one in four parents (26%) would know how to correctly administer baby CPR

Most parents who know first aid (62%) learnt it through a workplace first aid course – yet baby CPR is different to adult CPR (for instance, you need to cover the baby’s nose and mouth when doing puffs, and you use two fingers to give pumps to the chest).

Only one in four (26%) parents have learnt first aid specifically for babies

Sue Killen, CEO at St John Ambulance, said:

‘The Chokeables was a real step forward for us and the response was amazing. We’ve listened to parents and we know that they want to learn first aid skills in a way that’s easy and memorable. That’s what inspired us to create Nursery Rhymes Inc.

‘We know that a major barrier to parents learning is that baby CPR frightens them, so we’ve removed the fear factor and made it reassuring and as easy as possible to learn. We hope the song will stick in everyone’s heads! We’re asking everyone to share the video so that all parents, grandparents, and carers can learn what to do in those crucial minutes after a baby has stopped breathing.’

The characters of Nursery Rhymes Inc. explain the steps to saving a baby who’s unconscious and not breathing. These are:

  1. Call 999/112 for an ambulance
    If you’re on your own, you need to give one minute’s worth of CPR before you can call for help, taking your baby with you.
  2. 5 puffs
    Put your lips around their mouth and nose and blow steadily for up to one second. Give five puffs in total.
  3. 30 pumps
    Using two fingers in the centre of the chest, give 30 pumps at a rate of 100-120 per minute
  4. Repeat, but with 2 puffs and 30 pumps until help arrives

To celebrate the campaign, St John Ambulance is putting on special baby first aid courses for parents, carers, and parents-to-be for just £25 + VAT. To find your nearest course, or watch more first aid videos and advice, go to www.sja.org.uk/NurseryRhymesInc


 As the nation’s leading first aid charity, St John Ambulance believes that nobody should die because they needed first aid and didn’t get it. Every year thousands of people die in situations where first aid could have given them a chance to live. St John Ambulance teaches people first aid so that they can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved.

As a former pediatric nurse, and also a mum, I can tell you that the thought of my own child or baby stopping breathing and not knowing what to do, to help them, does terrify me. I have helped to resuscitate babies and children in hospital, and that was pretty scary, even though I had support, training,  the right equipment and medical staff with me. To be able to do the correct thing, to help save a child’s life when you don’t have all that, is vital, and I personally think every parent should be able to attend a basic course on how CPR for children, as part of their preparation for having a baby. In those vital minutes, acting quickly and doing what is needed properly, can save a life, and make a huge difference and knowing what to do, calmly and correctly are key. I have personally seen children choke and stop breathing, and had to help them, and knowing what to do, and how to do it, and also be able to instruct others, is a skill I never want to loose. I work with small children and babies in my day job, and it’s very important that I am prepared, if the need should ever arise. I hope it doesn’t but I would rather be prepared than not. 

You can watch the video here, too. 

Posted in Family Life and Parenting and tagged Choking Baby, CPR, Emergency First Aid, St John's Ambulance.