The Automated External Defibrillator (AED) can be used on adults and children. The machine can restart the heart of a child in a state of cardiac arrest through shocking it back into its normal rhythm. Learn how to use the machine yourself which could save a child’s life.


Dial 999 /112 stating your location and that a child has stopped breathing. Then either send a bystander to fetch the AED or do so yourself when alone. 

When back turn the machine on and place the correct pads onto the child’s bare chest. Follow the voice prompts from the machine and where necessary press the shock button, whilst advising others to stand clear. 

CPR should continue until the AED is unpacked and the pads are ready to go on

Child Specific Pads

It is not advised to use the AED on infants aged 0-1. Children between the ages of 1-8 should use the paediatric specific pads within the AED unit. The AED should not be used when these pads are missing, and instead CPR should continue until medical assistance arrives.

Children 8 years and over can use the standard adult pads if the paediatric pads are missing from the unit.

The paediatric pads will have a picture of the child’s body on them to make them easy to see

Signs Of Recovery

Look out for signs of recovery particularly after the machine shocks the casualty. The chest would rise and fall again, oxygen return to the skin and there could be natural movement.

If normal breathing has resumed then leave the AED on (with pads in place) and continue to monitor the casualty in case they stop breathing again.

Never take the AED off the casualty as it can quickly reshock them if another cardiac arrest occurs