How to Take Your Child's Pulseenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/KH_generic_header_07_2.jpgNeed to check your child's heart rate? Follow our guide and check with your doctor if you have questions.How to Take Your Child's Pulse, pulse, heart rate, heartrate, heartbeat, heart beats, heart health, heart, pump, arteries, artery, normal heart rate, neck, carotid artery pulse, armpit, underarm, axillary pulse, radial pulse, wrist, elbow crease, brachial pulse coronavirus symptoms, covid-19 symptoms, tachycardia, coronavirus, covid-19, supraventricular tachycardia, SVT09/05/201405/28/202005/28/2020Melanie L. Pitone, MD05/11/2020fc784c40-adcb-4a34-844a-aac528b08cefhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/take-pulse.html/<h3>What Is Your Pulse?</h3> <p>A person's pulse, or heart rate, is the number of times the <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/heart.html/">heart</a> beats per minute. It will change depending on things like activity, stress, body temperature, medicines, and illness.</p> <h3>How Do I Take My Child's Pulse?</h3> <p>You will need a stopwatch or a watch with a minute hand. Have your child relax without running, jumping, crying, etc., for at least 5 minutes.</p> <h4>Taking an Infant's Pulse</h4> <p>The best spot to feel the pulse in an infant is the upper am, called the <strong>brachial pulse</strong>. Lay your baby down on the back with one arm bent so the hand is up by the ear. Feel for the pulse on the inner arm between the shoulder and the elbow:</p> <ol class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Gently press two fingers (don't use your thumb) on the spot until you feel a beat.&nbsp;</li> <li>When you feel the pulse, count the beats for 15 seconds.</li> <li>Multiply the number of beats you counted by 4 to get the beats per minute.</li> </ol> <p><img class="center_this" title="Picture shows how to take an infant's pulse on the upper arm using 2 fingers" src="https://kidshealth.org/EN/images/galleries/childs-pulse-arm-photograph.jpg" alt="Picture shows how to take an infant's pulse on the upper arm using 2 fingers" /></p> <h4>Taking a Child's Pulse</h4> <p>The best spot to feel the pulse in a child is the wrist, called the <strong>radial pulse</strong>. Gently feel on the inside of the wrist on the thumb side.</p> <p><img class="center_this" title="Picture shows how to take a child's pulse on the wrist using 2 fingers" src="https://kidshealth.org/EN/images/galleries/childs-pulse-radial-photograph.jpeg" alt="Picture shows how to take a child's pulse on the wrist using 2 fingers" /></p> <p>If you can't easily find the pulse on the wrist, you can try the neck, which has the <strong>carotid pulse</strong>. Gently place your fingers on one side of the windpipe:</p> <ol class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Gently press two fingers (don't use your thumb) on the spot until you feel a beat.</li> <li>When you feel the pulse, count the beats for 15 seconds.</li> <li>Multiply the number of beats you counted by 4 to get the beats per minute.</li> </ol> <p><img class="center_this" title="Picture shows how to take a child's pulse in the neck using 2 fingers" src="https://kidshealth.org/EN/images/galleries/childs-pulse-neck-photograph.jpeg" alt="Picture shows how to take a child's pulse in the neck using 2 fingers" /></p> <h3>What's a Normal Heart Rate?</h3> <p>A normal heart rate is based on a child's age. Infants have different normal heart rates from teens. Kids' heart rates can be lower when resting or asleep and higher when they're very active.</p> <p>Check with your doctor to see what range is considered normal for your child.</p> <h3>When Should I Take My Child's Pulse?</h3> <p>Usually, there's no need to take your child's pulse. Your doctor will check it during office visits.</p> <p>Sometimes, though, a parent may need to take a pulse. You might do this if your child has:</p> <ul> <li>a medical condition that requires you to monitor their heart rate. Your doctor will let you know if you need to do this, and if you should do it regularly or only on occasion. If you're not sure, ask your doctor.</li> <li>a skipping, pounding, or racing heart</li> <li>chest pain</li> <li>dizziness</li> <li>a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/fainting.html/">fainting</a> spell</li> <li>fast breathing</li> </ul> <p>Call your doctor to review your child's symptoms and share the pulse you counted.</p> <p><strong>Go to the ER or call 911 right away</strong> if your child has any of the symptoms listed above and:</p> <ul> <li>is hard to wake up</li> <li>has trouble breathing. Look for muscles pulling in between the ribs or the nose puffing out with each breath.</li> <li>has pale or grey skin, or blue lips</li> </ul> <p>The 911 operator may ask you to take your child's pulse and count the heart rate.&nbsp;</p> <h3>What Else Should I Know?</h3> <p>Some smartphone apps can count a pulse by pressing a finger over the camera lens. For a good reading, your child needs to be very still, so this method works best in older kids who can cooperate. Some fitness and other smart watches can take a pulse too. Before using one of these, ask your doctor if it's a good idea or if they recommend a particular heart rate app.</p>Cómo tomarle el pulso a su hijo¿Necesita verificar la frecuencia cardíaca de su hijo? Siga nuestra guía y consulte con su médico si tiene preguntas.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/es/parents/take-pulse-esp.html/f58e9ac9-15bc-4d83-af26-f62eade730a0
Activity: The HeartDo you know your heart? Label these heart parts.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/bfs-csactivity.html/33db1a26-134b-4f8e-b9ec-3ecdbd9c605a
Arrhythmia (Abnormal Heartbeat)An arrhythmia is an abnormal heartbeat usually caused by an electrical "short circuit" in the heart. Many are minor and not a health threat, but some can indicate a more serious problem.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/arrhythmias.html/19038a47-2ae4-48f8-8bd5-9e46150171b0
ArrhythmiasArrhythmias are abnormal heartbeats usually caused by an electrical "short circuit" in the heart. Many are minor and not a significant health threat, but others can indicate a more serious problem.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/arrhythmias.html/79184e00-417e-4ce4-a49b-2e89de1b1bd4
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FaintingFainting is pretty common in teens. The good news is that most of the time it's not a sign of something serious.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/fainting.html/39ee89ff-e68b-438a-ad17-4ec77092ccc5
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Heart and Circulatory SystemThe heart and circulatory system (also called the cardiovascular system) make up the network that delivers blood to the body's tissues.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/heart.html/fde8120a-c54e-4e57-94b8-fb4375c29487
Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) happens when the autonomic nervous system — which controls things like heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing — doesn't work as it should.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/pots.html/ce4001dc-e928-4a83-9305-6be1f4d85a67
Quiz: Heart & Circulatory SystemTake this quiz about the circulatory system, which sends blood throughout your body.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/csquiz.html/8b2aacff-627e-4499-9fc7-c8a55e0f802f
Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT)Supraventricular tachycardia is a type of abnormal heart rhythm in which the heart beats very quickly. https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/supraventricular-tachycardia.html/fe5b0af6-4f7a-4fc8-a5f0-67c3f8fccceb
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Words to Know (Heart Glossary)A guide to medical terms about the heart and circulatory system. In an easy A-Z format, find definitions on heart defects, heart conditions, treatments, and more.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/heart-glossary.html/ba52d6b8-f516-479b-b2de-ad634d6053da
Your Heart & Circulatory SystemYour heart is a hard-working muscle. Find out more in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/heart.html/9730472f-2ef1-413a-92bf-041c533b9564
kh:age-allAgesOrAgeAgnostickh:clinicalDesignation-cardiologykh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-cardiologyCaring for Your Childhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/hearthealth/livingheartcond/a5caa6fd-b063-42fe-933e-6802d2bf0897Wellness & Preventionhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/hearthealth/wellness/f73a85f7-65f6-43ab-affa-260a02694e4cEmergencieshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/firstaid-safe/emergencies/114c34a9-860a-444c-849e-8c8666e0d2a2Sick Kidshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/general/sick/3c1c9be2-f915-4f76-baac-ad2943a5a8e6https://kidshealth.org/EN/images/galleries/childs-pulse-arm-photograph.jpghttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/galleries/childs-pulse-radial-photograph.jpeghttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/galleries/childs-pulse-neck-photograph.jpeg