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Who Needs Infant & Child CPR Certification?

There are many different types of CPR certifications available—some designed for medical professionals, others for non-medical professionals and lay audiences. Among them is the Infant and Child CPR Certification—a certification that focuses specifically on lifesaving techniques for children and infants.

Often, this certification is included in an overarching class that includes adult, infant, and child CPR.  BLS certification also includes training for administering CPR and other lifesaving treatments to infants and children. There are also “Adult-Only” CPR classes that do not provide this training, and it’s important to know whether your employer requires training for children and infants as well as adults. Here’s an overview of jobs where you are likely to specifically need infant and child CPR certification.

Teacher in classroom with children

Teachers. The requirements for CPR certification among public school teachers varies by state. It’s mandatory for teachers in Indiana, Michigan, and Virginia public schools; but coaches and physical education teachers are more likely to need CPR certification to hold down a job than classroom teachers.

Physical education and school coaches are often required to hold a CPR and First Aid certification, especially if they work in the public school system; private school requirements are much more varied.

Daycare providers. Some states require daycare providers to hold a CPR certification. For instance, Minnesota requires at least one employee in each state-licensed daycare facility to hold CPR certification. In New York, daycare providers must hold a CPR certification designed for the age group they serve, and must also have staffers on site with CPR certifications if there is a pool on the premises. Washington State also requires daycare providers to be CPR certified.

However, even when the state’s legislation doesn’t specifically require daycare workers to be certified, it’s still a good idea to have someone on-site who has the certification—as sudden cardiac arrest can happen with infants and children as well as adults.

Nannies. Nannies in the United States are not required to have a certain level of education by any government regulating body. However, having a CPR certification is a good idea for anyone working in this field. Hiring websites such as Care.com and SitterCity allow users to enter CPR certification as a wish-list requirement, and some nanny placement agencies require their nannies to hold a CPR certification.

Pediatric nursing assistants. Pediatric nursing assistants usually work in hospital pediatric departments or in hospitals that specialize in pediatric care. Their duties often include bathing and feeding patients, checking vital signs, and providing medication to young patients. While requirements for pediatric nursing assistants vary by state, many employers look for candidates who hold CPR or BLS training.

Lifeguards in the pool learning life saving measures on children

Lifeguards. There is no overarching regulatory body determining certification requirements for lifeguards; these are usually set by the individual employers. However, most employers require lifeguards to be certified, mostly through organizations such as the YMCA, the American Red Cross, and the American Lifeguard Association. These certifications generally include CPR training for adults, children, and infants—as children and infants are likely to be found at pools and beaches.

First responders. First responders may find themselves responding to a call for a patient of any age. As such, they need to know how to provide CPR and other lifesaving care to children and infants as well as adults. While requirements vary depending on the job—the term “first responder” is actually a generic term that can apply to any medically trained person who is the first to arrive on the scene of an accident, and it can encompass a wide variety of positions including police, firefighters, and EMTs—the reality is that first responders of all kinds may encounter any situation, including an injured child in need of care, at the scene of an accident or fire. 

Firefighters. Residential fires make up a large percentage of fire emergency calls, and that means firefighters will often be rescuing children at home as well as adults. Firefighters need to know how to provide CPR, First Aid, and other lifesaving care to infants and children of all ages who might suffer from burns, smoke inhalation, and other injuries during a house fire. Firefighters must usually hold EMT-Basic level certification, which will either include the CPR certification or require it as a prerequisite. Some states offer firefighter training and certification on a voluntary or mandatory basis, depending on the state.

Police officers. Police officers often find themselves first to arrive on an accident scene. Even when off-duty, police officers are frequently expected to step in when lifesaving care is needed. While ideally medical professionals will arrive quickly to provide care, the reality is often much more messy—and often the police officer is the person best placed to provide care quickly.

As such, many police officers are trained in CPR, although it is difficult to say whether they are often technically required only to provide it to adults. The requirement varies depending on the state and municipality, but some jurisdictions require police officers to hold a CPR certification. In some areas, police officers are encouraged to get EMT certifications. 

Whether it is required or only suggested, police officers should learn to provide CPR to children and infants as well as adults—since they never know who might need it when they respond to a call.

Mother holding baby

Parents. Of course, there is no mandated requirement for parents to learn CPR for children. However, while sudden cardiac arrest in children and infants is much more rare than it is in adults, it does occur.  It is usually the result of a congenital heart defect, which may or may not be known about ahead of time. Learning CPR for children and infants does not require a lot of time or money, and could possibly save a life.

Infants and children require different CPR techniques than adults do, and as such, they require separate training for lifesaving CPR. Some CPR certification programs provide training for adult CPR only, while others offer training for providing CPR to people of all ages from infant to adult. Be aware of which professions are likely to require infant and child CPR skills as well as those for adults, and you’ll be able to choose the certification program that works best for you.


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