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Pediatric Vital Signs

Introduction

Blood pressure, pulse rate, and respiratory rate are the routine vital signs measured in medicine. These vital signs remain relatively constant throughout our adult life. However, as infants and children grow and age, the normal range changes. Two tables of normal vital signs for the pediatric population are presented below.

Age (yr) Respiratory Rate (breaths/min) Heart Rate (beats/min)
<1 30-60 100-160
1-2 24-40 90-150
2-5 22-34 80-140
6-12 18-30 70-120
>12 12-16 60-100
Lower limits of systolic pressure†
0-28 days: 60 mm Hg
1-12 months: 70 mm Hg
1-10 years: 70 mm Hg + (2¥ age in years)

REFERENCE:

Marx, J., et al. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders, 2013.

Vital Signs at Various Ages

Age Heart Rate (beats/min) Blood Pressure (mm Hg) Respiratory Rate (breaths/min)
Premature 120-170 * 55-75/35-45 40-70
0-3 mo 100-150 * 65-85/45-55 35-55
3-6 mo 90-120 70-90/50-65 30-45
6-12 mo 80-120 80-100/55-65 25-40
1-3 yr 70-110 90-105/55-70 20-30
3-6 yr 65-110 95-110/60-75 20-25
6-12 yr 60-95 100-120/60/75 14/22
12 > yr 55-85 110-135/65/85 12-18

REFERENCE:

Kleigman, R.M., et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders, 2011.

* From Dieckmann R, Brownstein D, Gausche-Hill M (eds): Pediatric Education for Prehospital Professionals. Sudbury, Mass, Jones & Bartlett, American Academy of Pediatrics, 2000, pp 43-45.

† From American Heart Association ECC Guidelines, 2000.

Medically Reviewer: Benjamin C. Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/18/2013




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