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Counting Respiration Rate

The respiration rate is the rate at which a person breathes. It increases with fever and some illnesses. The best time to count the respiration rate is when a person is resting, perhaps after you take the person's pulse while your fingers are still on the person's wrist. The person's breathing is likely to change if he or she knows you are counting it.

  • Count the number of times the chest rises in 1 full minute.
  • Notice whether there is any sucking in beneath the ribs or any apparent wheezing or difficulty breathing.

Normal resting breathing rate:

  • Newborn to 6 months: 30–60 breaths per minute
  • 6–12 months: 24–30 breaths per minute
  • 1–5 years: 20–30 breaths per minute
  • 6–12 years: 12–20 breaths per minute
  • 12 years and older: 12–20 breaths per minute

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerH. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last RevisedSeptember 13, 2012

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 13, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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