When Can Children Learn CPR?

blank What is the right age for children to learn CPR? When are they able to perform effective CPR? Should schools have a program in place? An article put out by ABCNews in 2009, reported that by the age of 9, children can retain the skills and knowledge of how to perform CPR. Most younger children were not able to perform chest compressions to the correct depth for an extended period, simply because of lack of strength.and  They had the cognitive skills, retention, and performance down as well as, or better in some cases, then many adults though. In Greece, Mr. Anastasis Stefanakis founded “Kids Save Lives” as part of their National Emergency Aid Centre in Athens, to teach children how to perform CPR starting when they are 10 years old. This is a volunteer-run program offering 4 hour courses where children learn “how to assess a collapsed victim and check for responsiveness, how to call the emergency services, how to perform chest compressions and rescue breaths, the recovery position, how to prevent and treat prehospital trauma, and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED).” As part of this program since 2016, over 42,000 people at 470 schools learned CPR. A 14-year-old in Greece recently saved her 10-year-old sister who was drowning in a pool and had stopped breathing. And 18 cardiac arrest victims have been resuscitated by course participants. Since they started this program and saw its successes, they have also lowered the minimum age for certified CPR Instructors from 18-years old down to 16-years-old. Austria ran a similar study where 147 children, ages 9-18 in 11 different schools, received 6 hours of CPR training. 9 out of 10 participants could perform chest compressions correctly. However only 69% tilted the mannequin’s head back enough to give sufficient breaths during mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. There was enough data though to support implementing CPR Training in schools. Some believe that even though children may not be effective at saving an adult’s life, they can at least learn how to assess whether someone needs help, call 911, and begin the steps in the chain of survival. 

If you would like more information about our myAED, CPR, AED and First Aid Training classes, please call us at 1-800-695-1209 or contact us at [email protected].

Blog By Blaire Czarniecki

Written by Blaire Czarniecki
Customer Service Director

Fact checked by Phillip Woods, BA, NREMT-P, FP-C

Blaire attended the University of Tennessee where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology- Child and Family Studies. She has been in the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) industry for over eight years and is the Director of Customer Service for Coro Medical. Blaire is also an American Red Cross-certified CPR/AED/First Aid Instructor, highly trained by each manufacturer on their specific AEDs, and knowledgeable regarding ALL State AED regulations and legislation. “I know that every day I come to work, I am playing a part in saving someone’s life. I am passionate about these devices and am always looking for new and innovative ways to spread awareness and knowledge about Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). I look forward to the day when everywhere I go, I will see an AED—when SCA will no longer take any lives.”

Last updated July 15, 2020