According to the American Heart Association, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a series of “rescue breathing and chest compressions delivered to victims whose hearts fail to contract effectively, and normal circulation of blood is lost.  CPR can support a small amount of blood flow to the heart and brain to “buy time” until normal heart function is restored.




Without oxygen, permanent brain damage or death can occur in less than 8 minutes.


Some of the warning signs of cardiac arrest include:

  • Sudden loss of responsiveness (no response to tapping on shoulders).
  • No normal breathing (the victim does not take a normal breath when you tilt the head up and check for at least five seconds). 


*If these signs of cardiac arrest are present, call 9-1-1 yourself or tell someone to call or call the emergency response number. If there is an AED available, get it, and begin CPR immediately.




Every teacher should know how and when to administer CPR. When performed correctly, CPR can save a child's life by restoring breathing and circulation until advanced life support can be given by health care providers.


Educate your students about CPR


This important information about CPR needs to be talked about with your students in a way they will be able to understand.

By educating all students on the steps of CPR, they can be ready for scary situations and have the ability to save a life!

Teach students the warning signs of someone who is having heart problems and might need CPR.

  • Teach your students to check if the injured person is alert by looking for signs of life (eyes open, mouth sounds, breathing). If no signs are seen, start CPR.


Teach students how to call 911 and how to describe what is happening.


Teach students the proper recovery position.  This position could help save lives.

  • If the victim is breathing and in no need of chest compressions and CPR, the victim should be placed in the recovery position. The recovery position helps keep the victim's airway open. To put the victim in the recovery position grab the victim's leg and shoulder and roll him or her towards you.
  • Continue to roll the victim until he is on his side.
  • Adjust the top leg so that both the hip and knee are bent at right angles. Gently tilt the head back to keep the airway open. Keep the person warm until medical help is obtained. If breathing or circulation stops at any time, roll the person back on to his or her back and begin CPR.

Additional Resources on CPR:


American Red Cross

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