Emergencies and First Aid — Mouth to Mouth Resuscitation

The Family Health Guide

Mouth-to-Mouth Resuscitation

Mouth-to-Mouth-and-Nose Resuscitation on a Child Under Age 8 or on an Infant

  • Place the child on a hard, flat surface.

  • Look into the mouth and throat to ensure that the airway is clear. If an object is present, try to sweep it out with your fingers. If unsuccessful and the object is blocking the airway, apply the Heimlich maneuver (see p. 1205). If vomiting occurs, turn the child onto his or her side and sweep out the mouth with two fingers.

  • Tilt the head back slightly to open the airway.

  • Place your mouth tightly over the nose and mouth. Blow two quick, shallow breaths (smaller breaths than you would give to an adult). Watch for the chest to rise.

  • Remove your mouth. Look for the chest to fall as the child exhales.

  • Listen for the sounds of breathing. Feel for the child’s breath on your cheek. If breathing does not start on its own, repeat the procedure.

Mouth-to-Mouth Resuscitation on a Child Age 8 or Older or on an Adult



1. Make sure the person is lying on a hard, flat surface. Look into the mouth and throat to ensure that the airway is clear. If an object is present, try to sweep it out with your fingers (wear disposable surgical gloves if they are available). Apply the Heimlich maneuver (see p. 1205) if unsuccessful and the object is blocking the airway. If vomiting occurs, turn the person on his or her side and sweep out the mouth with two fingers. Do not place your finger in the mouth if the person is rigid or is having a seizure.

2. Tilt the head back slightly to open the airway. Put upward pressure on the jaw to pull it forward.


3. Pinch the nostrils closed with thumb and index finger. Place your mouth tightly over the person’s mouth. Use a mouthpiece if one is available. Blow two quick breaths and watch for the person’s chest to rise.

4. Release the nostrils. Look for the person’s chest to fall as he or she exhales. Listen for the sounds of breathing. Feel for the person’s breath on your cheek. If the person does not start breathing on his or her own, repeat the procedure.