Sneh Children Hospital

Pediatric Vital Signs: Definition, Range & Assessment

Vital sign plays an integral role to determine how the body is functioning. Whether we are talking about adults or children, the foremost parameter to know your child’s health is vital signs. Knowing the rates for vital signs can help you get important health clues if any from these earlier. Here one thing keeps in mind is that the range of vital signs for children is different than for an adult. Moreover, vital sign for a child also varies as per their age group. 

Though the vital signs in children differ from adults, some vital signs are the same for all age groups. In other words, vital signs charts vary for children of all age groups but normal temperatures for kids of all ages remain constant. As we have discussed earlier, the four vital signs are:

  • Heart Rate
  • Body Temperature
  • Respiration rate(Breathing Rate)
  • Blood pressure

Infant Vital Signs:

Since infants’ muscles are not developed properly, infants have much higher respiratory rate and heart rates than adults. As they grow, the heart muscle can stretch, and the heart does not require to beat fast the circulating blood through the body.

However, infants’ heart rate is lower than normal, which could be a sign of bradycardia. The symptoms of it include:

  • Low body temperature
  • Not enough oxygen
  • A congenital heart problem
  • Medication effects

Toddler Vital Signs:

Pediatric vital signs vary depending on the age of the child. For toddlers aged 1 to 2, the heart rate should be between 98 to 140 beats per minute, the respiratory rate should be 22 to 37 breaths per minute, and blood pressure systolic should be 86 to 106, and diastolic 42 to 63.

Preschool Vital Signs:

Similarly, preschool children aged 3-5 have a heart rate between 80-120 beats per minute, respiratory rate of 20-28 breaths per minute, systolic BP of 89-112, and diastolic BP of 46-72. 

School Age Vital Signs:

School-age children aged 6-11 have a heart rate range of 75-118 beats per minute, respiratory rate of 18-25 breaths per minute, systolic BP 97 – 120, and diastolic 57.

Adolescents Vital Signs:

Lastly, adolescents aged 12 years or above have nearly adult-level vitals with heart rate in the range of 60 – 100 bpm, respiratory range of 12 – 20 bpm, Systolic BP of 110 – 131 & diastolic 64 – 83.

When to consult a doctor?

If you check your child’s vital signs and it varies from the normal range, then you should consult the child specialist in Ahmedabad. Here is exactly what you should check for:

You can check your child’s respiration rate by putting your hand on your child’s chest and counting how many times your child’s chest rises and falls.

You can measure blood pressure using a stethoscope and a manual cuff or automatic cuff. Here note that utilization of adult-sized cuff often gives an incorrect reading. 

Of course, If your child looks active and well, you should not pay attention to all these vital signs. But if your child seems sick, consult the best pediatric doctor in Ahmedabad and be sure that they get emergency medical care right away. 

Take Away:

If your child becomes upset before or after you measure vital signs, then you should try after some time when your child is less upset. By doing that, you can yield get a more accurate result. Remember that, measuring vital signs plays a central role to know your child’s health but along with that, it is important to notice your child’s behavior. By taking these two factors into consideration, you can let yourself know that your child’s vital signs are causes for concern. 

Dr. Khanjan Shah

Dr. Khanjan Shah

Dr. Khanjan Shah, M.D. in Pediatrics with a Fellowship in Pediatric Critical Care, is the author of this article. He ensures that all information provided from Sneh Children Hospital is backed by thorough research conducted by himself and other specialists, guaranteeing authenticity and reliability.