Overview of Pediatric Vital Signs
A child's vital signs change with age and differ from the normal ranges for adults.
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 pediatric heart rate chart
- Normal pediatric respiratory rate chart
- Normal pediatric blood pressure chart
What Is a Normal Pediatric Heart Rate?
The following pediatric heart rate chart shows the normal awake and sleeping rates by age.
Normal Heart Rate by Age (Beats/Minute)
|Age||Awake Rate||Sleeping Rate|
|Neonate (<28 d)||100-165||90-160|
|Infant (1 mo-1 y)||100-150||90-160|
|Toddler (1-2 y)||70-110||80-120|
|Preschool (3-5 y)||65-110||65-100|
|School-age (6-11 y)||60-95||58-90|
|Adolescent (12-15 y)||55-85||50-90|
What Is a Normal Pediatric Respiratory Rate?
The following pediatric respiratory rate chart shows the normal ranges by age.
Normal Respiratory Rate by Age (Breaths/Minute)
|Age||Normal Respiratory Rate|
|Infants (<1 y)||30-55|
|Toddler (1-2 y)||20-30|
|Preschool (3-5 y)||20-25|
|School-age (6-11 y)||14-22|
|Adolescent (12-15 y)||12-18|
What Is Normal Pediatric Blood Pressure by Age?
The following pediatric blood pressure chart shows the normal ranges by age.
Blood pressure readings are given as two numbers:
- The systolic blood pressure (the top number) equals the pressure in the arteries as the heart contracts.
- The diastolic pressure (the bottom number) is the pressure in the arteries as the heart relaxes.
- Normal blood pressure is below 120/80.
Normal Blood Pressure by Age
|Age||Systolic Blood Pressure||Diastolic Blood Pressure|
|Birth (12 h)||60-85||45-55|
|Neonate (96 h)||67-84||35-53|
|Infant (1-12 mo)||80-100||55-65|
|Toddler (1-2 y)||90-105||55-70|
|Preschooler (3-5 y)||95-107||60-71|
|School-age (6-9 y)||95-110||60-73|
|Preadolescent (10-11 y)||100-119||65-76|
|Adolescent (12-15 y)||110-124||70-79|
Common Childhood Skin Disorders
Reviewed on 11/5/2020
Kliegman, R.M., et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics, 20th Edition.
Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier, 2015.
Weaver, Donald J. "Hypertension in Children and Adolescents." Pediatrics in Review 38.8 August 2017: 369-382.