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Pediatric Vital Signs

Overview of Pediatric Vital Signs

Blood pressure, pulse rate, respiratory rate, and temperature are the routine vital signs measured in medicine. These vital signs remain relatively constant throughout adult life. But children are not small adults, and normal vital signs are different as a newborn becomes an infant and then a child.

The normal values for blood pressure, pulse rate, and respiratory rate change as the newborn/infant/child grows and ages.

Body temperature does not change with age. However, body temperature may fluctuate depending upon the time of day, and a normal temperature may range between 97.0 F (36.1 C) and 100.3 F (37.9 C). A rectal temperature of 100.4 F (38.0 C) is considered a fever.

What Are Normal Ranges of Vital Signs for Various Ages?

The following charts summarize the range of age-based normal vital signs.

Normal Heart Rate by Age (Beats/Minute)
AgeAwake RateSleeping Rate
Neonate (<28 d)100-20590-160
Infant (1 mo-1 y)100-19090-160
Toddler (1-2 y)98-14080-120
Preschool (3-5 y)80-12065-100
School-age (6-11 y)75-11858-90
Adolescent (12-15 y)60-10050-90
Normal Respiratory Rate by Age (Breaths/Minute)
AgeNormal Respiratory Rate
Infants (<1 y)30-53
Toddler (1-2 y)22-37
Preschool (3-5 y)20-28
School-age (6-11 y)18-25
Adolescent (12-15 y)12-20
Normal Blood Pressure by Age
AgeSystolic Blood PressureDiastolic Blood Pressure
Birth (12 h)60-7631-45
Neonate (96 h)67-8435-53
Infant (1-12 mo)72-10437-56
Toddler (1-2 y)86-10642-63
Preschooler (3-5 y)89-11246-72
School-age (6-9 y)97-11557-76
Preadolescent (10-11 y)102-12061-80
Adolescent (12-15 y)110-13164-83

Tables and data have been adapted from the Pediatric Advanced Life Support Manual. American Heart Association, 2012.

REFERENCES:

Chameides, Leon, Ricardo A. Samson, Stephen M. Schexnayder, and Mary Fran Hazinski, eds. Pediatric Advanced Life Support Provider Manual: Professional Edition. United States of America: American Heart Association, 2011.

Kliegman, R.M., et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics, 20th Edition. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier, 2015.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/12/2016

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