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How can I check my child's respiratory rate?

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Set a timer for 30 seconds and count the number of times your child’s chest rises. Double that number to get his respiratory rate.

Normal rate (breaths per minute):

  • Infant (0-12 months): 30-60
  • Toddler (1-3 years): 24-40
  • Preschooler (3-5 years): 22-34
  • School-aged child (5-12 years): 18-30
  • Adolescent (12-18 years): 12-16

From: How to Read Your Child’s Vital Signs WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Cleveland Clinic: “Vital Signs.”

KidsHealth: “How to Take Your Child’s Pulse.”

American Academy of Pediatrics: “Ages & Stages,” “Signs and Symptoms of Fever,” “Fever,” “How to Take a Child’s Temperature,” “Screening and Treating Kids for High Blood Pressure: AAP Report Explained,” “Clinical Practice Guideline for Screening and Management of High Blood Pressure in Children and Adolescents.”

American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Emergency Physicians. , Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2004. APLS: The Pediatric Emergency Medicine Resource

University of Rochester Medical Center: “Signs of Respiratory Distress in Children.”

American Academy of Family Physicians: “Fever in Infants and Children,” “High Blood Pressure.”

Mayo Clinic: “High Blood Pressure in Children.”

National High Blood Pressure Education Program: “A Pocket Guide to Blood Pressure Measurement in Children.”

American Heart Association: “Monitoring Your Blood Pressure at Home.”

Reviewed by Renee A. Alli on December 15, 2017

SOURCES:

Cleveland Clinic: “Vital Signs.”

KidsHealth: “How to Take Your Child’s Pulse.”

American Academy of Pediatrics: “Ages & Stages,” “Signs and Symptoms of Fever,” “Fever,” “How to Take a Child’s Temperature,” “Screening and Treating Kids for High Blood Pressure: AAP Report Explained,” “Clinical Practice Guideline for Screening and Management of High Blood Pressure in Children and Adolescents.”

American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Emergency Physicians. , Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2004. APLS: The Pediatric Emergency Medicine Resource

University of Rochester Medical Center: “Signs of Respiratory Distress in Children.”

American Academy of Family Physicians: “Fever in Infants and Children,” “High Blood Pressure.”

Mayo Clinic: “High Blood Pressure in Children.”

National High Blood Pressure Education Program: “A Pocket Guide to Blood Pressure Measurement in Children.”

American Heart Association: “Monitoring Your Blood Pressure at Home.”

Reviewed by Renee A. Alli on December 15, 2017

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What are signs of respiratory distress in children?

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