AEDs and Children

AEDs and Children

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) can happen to anyone, including children. The American Heart Association estimates that around 7,000 children experience SCA each year in the United States. SCA can be caused by a variety of factors, including heart disease, birth defects, and trauma. When SCA occurs, every second counts and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) can be a lifesaving intervention. However, there are important considerations to keep in mind when using AEDs on children.

AEDs are designed to be used on adults, and the shock delivered by the device may be too strong for children. In addition, the pads on the AED may not fit properly on a child's smaller chest. However, that doesn't mean AEDs shouldn't be used on children. The American Heart Association recommends that AEDs be used on children over the age of one when a pediatric AED is not available. An AED can be used on children and infants and should be used as early as possible for the best chance of improving the chance of survival. Check the AED when it arrives at the scene. Pediatric pads should be used if the person is under eight years old or under 55 pounds (25 kg).

To use an AED on a child, follow these steps:

  1. Check the child's responsiveness and breathing. If the child is not responsive and not breathing normally, call 911 immediately and begin CPR.

  2. If an AED is available, turn it on and follow the voice prompts.

  3. If a pediatric pad is available, use it. If not, use adult pads.

  4. Place one pad on the child's upper right chest and the other pad on the child's lower left chest. Make sure the pads are not touching each other.

  5. Follow the voice prompts and administer the shock if advised to do so.

  6. Continue with CPR until emergency medical services arrive.

It's important to note that AEDs are not a replacement for CPR. CPR should always be performed before and after using an AED, regardless of the age of the person in cardiac arrest. for more questions, you can contact us at call us at 1-800-441-6329.

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