What are the age and ability requirements to take CPR?

It is wonderful that AHA has many leveled options for training!  I always say that there is never a minimum or maximum age for taking a CPR class.  If you don’t need a certification, you will not need to get 2 inches deep on an adult manikin to pass the class.  That works very nicely for those who are young, elderly, have a permanent injury, or just don’t need a certification for employment.  This course is called CPR for family and friends.  It is an informational course, very similar to the Heartsaver certification course, that you can learn and practice as much as you choose.  There is no skill evaluation.  I typically teach my kids this level at 6-7 years old.  I also teach choking with this class as it is very important to know how to help someone choking or even what to do when alone and choking.

If you are looking to take a certification course, still little has to do with age or ability in a sense.  Some people have little strength in their arms but good CPR is about technique and using adrenaline in your favor and your upper body weight and strength.  AHA requires that you are able to get 2 inches in depth on the child and adult manikins.  Sometimes we need to improvise if someone is in a wheelchair or has no arms or has a temporary injury.  We also want to follow the Americans with Disabilities Act and allow our students to use tables or chairs to raise our manikins if they have a situation where they can’t be on their knees or use certain force with their wrists or shoulders.  We also don’t want anyone to obtain an injury or cause any worse health problems during class, so we can be flexible with repetition and long CPR practice.

The Heartsaver course is a 2 year AHA certification course.  There is a skill evaluation and typically a 2-minute practice going through all the steps of CPR.  That is doing over 150 compressions but not at one time.

If you want to take a CPR class and are questioning your age and ability, please talk with us before class.  It is very rare that we can’t make things work for your training.  This skill is so valuable in saving lives out in our community and we look forward to working with you in any situation.