Where Do You Place Your Hands for CPR?

Ever been in a situation where you need to give someone CPR? If so, there are a few things you need to practice before the time comes when you need to use it.

Chief among these is remembering the proper technique for giving people CPR. While it might seem simple, knowing where to place your hands for CPR can be confusing. So where do you place your hands for CPR?


Knowing how to give CPR or wanting to learn doesn’t mean you need to feel helpless about what to do. Keep reading to learn the recommended hand placements for CPR on adults, children, and infants:

Adults (Age 8 and Older)

For adults (age eight and older), proper hand placement is crucial for effective chest compressions. To begin, position yourself beside the person lying flat on their back. Place the heel of one hand on the center of the chest, precisely between the nipples.

Next, position your other hand on top of the first hand. Keep your fingers off the chest, either interlocking them or lifting them slightly. It’s important to align your shoulders directly over your hands to ensure proper force distribution.

When administering CPR, press down firmly and smoothly, aiming for a depth of at least 2 inches (5 centimeters). Allow the chest to fully recoil between compressions, but avoid lifting your hands off the chest entirely.

If you want to learn how to perform CPR properly, it is best to earn a First Aid BLS Certification to gain comprehensive knowledge and hands-on training in CPR techniques.

Children (Ages 1 to 8)

The hand placement for CPR differs slightly for children aged 1 to 8 years. If you are the sole rescuer, use one hand for compressions. Place the heel of your hand on the center of the child’s chest, just below the nipple line.

If there are two rescuers, two-handed compression is recommended. Position the heel of one hand on the center of the chest, between the nipples, and then place your other hand on top of the first hand. Ensure your fingers are off the chest, and interlock them or lift them slightly.

Compress the chest with enough force to achieve a depth of approximately one-third to one-half of the child’s chest diameter. Maintain a steady rhythm of compressions, allowing the chest to fully recoil between each compression.

Infants (Under Age 1)

When performing CPR on infants (under age 1), the hand placement differs from adults and children. Use two fingers (index and middle finger) for chest compressions.

Begin by locating the correct hand position by feeling the lower half of the infant’s sternum (breastbone). Place your fingers just below the nipple line, ensuring you do not apply pressure on the infant’s abdomen.

Administer chest compressions with gentle but firm pressure, aiming for a depth of about one-third the depth of the infant’s chest. Allow the chest to recoil between compressions fully, maintaining a consistent rhythm throughout.

Learning Where Do You Place Your Hands for CPR

To answer the question, “Where do you place your hands for CPR?” is essential for proper CPR learning. By following the guidelines outlined in this article, you can successfully learn how to correctly perform CPR and hopefully help save someone’s life in the process.

Make sure always to stay informed on the current CPR protocol and take a CPR certification course when possible. Remember, having the proper technique for performing CPR is key, so act now and learn how to place your hands in an emergency properly!

Did you learn something new from this article? If so, check out our blog for more educational content.

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