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Pediatric Vital Signs

  • Medical Author:
    John Mersch, MD, FAAP

    Dr. Mersch received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego, and prior to entering the University Of Southern California School Of Medicine, was a graduate student (attaining PhD candidate status) in Experimental Pathology at USC. He attended internship and residency at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Pediatric Vital Signs Related Articles

Overview of Pediatric Vital Signs

A child's vital signs change with age and differ from the normal ranges for adults.
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.

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)
AgeAwake RateSleeping Rate
Neonate (<28 d)100-16590-160
Infant (1 mo-1 y)100-15090-160
Toddler (1-2 y)70-11080-120
Preschool (3-5 y)65-11065-100
School-age (6-11 y)60-9558-90
Adolescent (12-15 y)55-8550-90

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)
AgeNormal 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?

The following pediatric blood pressure chart shows the normal ranges by age.

Normal Blood Pressure by Age
AgeSystolic Blood PressureDiastolic Blood Pressure
Birth (12 h)60-8545-55
Neonate (96 h)67-8435-53
Infant (1-12 mo)80-10055-65
Toddler (1-2 y)90-10555-70
Preschooler (3-5 y)95-10760-71
School-age (6-9 y)95-11060-73
Preadolescent (10-11 y)100-11965-76
Adolescent (12-15 y)110-12470-79

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Reviewed on 9/19/2019
References
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.
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