Do you know the pulse rate of your child?

November 12, 2012

Do you know the pulse rate of your child?

Most adults and parents are aware that their heart rate or pulse rate should be in the range of 60 to 100 beats per minute.

Many parents do not know that the pulse rate in children can be a lot higher than an adult.

By knowing exactly the figure of what is normal and also knowing how to take the pulse rate of a child will save the parent from unnecessary concerns. Because if the parent is fully aware of what their childÂ’s pulse is it means they are able to recognise if it becomes too fast or too slow when their child is ill.

There are other things to take into account when considering the normal pulse rate for children.

When members of the medical profession talk about pulse rate remember that there are various types of pulse rates. A resting pulse is used to describe the average rate which you can see from the table below.

Pulse rates in children can be categorized as being normal, slow (referred to medically as bradycardia) and fast (medical term is tachycardia). They can be regular or it may be irregular which sometimes can be an indication of problems with the rhythm of the heart. If you have any concerns make an appointment with your doctor for a check-up.

The average pulse rate for children will be present when they are resting. When children are playing, crying and running and jumping in physical activities this will increase to the upper limit of what is considered normal for their age. And when children are sleeping it may decrease to the lower end of normal.

Pulse Rates Beats per minute Variance of beats per minute

Newborn

125 70 and 90
Infant 120 80 and 160
Toddler 110 80 and 130
Pre-schooler 100 80 and 120
6 years of age 100 75 and 115
8 years of age 90 70 and 110
10 years of age 90 70 and 110

Girls aged 12 years

90 70 and 110

Boys aged 12 years

85 65 and 105

Girls aged 14 years

85 65 and 105

Boys aged 14 years

80 60 and 100

Girls aged 16 years

80 60 and 100

Boys aged 16 years

75 55 and 95

Girls aged 18 years

75 55 and 95

Boys aged 18 years

70 50 and 90

If you have concerns that your children appear to be at the upper end of normal for their age or it appears to be at the lower end of normal make an appointment with a doctor or paediatrician.

If the pulse rate of a child is at the lower end of normal especially when they are taking part in physical activities, or if the pulse rate is at the upper end of normal when they are sleeping it is necessary to contact a doctor or paediatrician. Teenage children who are extremely athletic can have a resting pulse of 40 to 50 beats per minute.

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