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What is a normal kid’s heart rate? The heart rate of kids, also known as the pulse can vary widely throughout the day. It is the count of the number of times the heart beats in a minute.
The level and frequency of daily activities that the kid undertakes can change the heart rate over time or even during the course of the day.
During the state of resting or sleeping, the heart rate is usually slower while that recorded during any physical activity will be faster
The heart rate of a kid can be affected by a number of factors. These include the age of the kid, the biological makeup of the particular child, and even the daily activity routine of the child.
Activities can vary over a wide range like backyard sports and games that can affect a normal kid heart rate. However, normal heart rate is a variable parameter and it varies widely from one child to another depending on certain factors as mentioned above.
It is important to note that there is no set definition of a healthy heart rate that can apply to every child.
Heart rate is also known as pulse and can be checked from several points in the body. It has to be an area where the artery is passing close to the skin.
Some of such spots in the body are the back of the knees, groin, neck, temple, wrist, and the top or inner side of the foot. The most common method of measuring the pulse is to measure it at the wrist.
For this, one has to place the index finger and the middle finger on the underside of the opposite wrists and press while keeping the thumb flat till they can feel the pulse.
For measuring the pulse at the neck, one has to place his index finger and the middle finger just beside the adam’s apple on the hollow and soft spot. One has to press the spot gently till one can feel the pulse. An important thing to note is to keep the individual seated or lying down while checking the pulse at the neck. Also, the neck arteries in some individuals can be sensitive to any kind of pressure and this can cause fainting or slowing down of the heartbeats.
It should also be noted not to check for a pulse on both sides of the neck at the same time as that can slow down the blood flow to the brain leading to loss of consciousness. Once the pulse is located it should be counted for 1 minute, alternatively, it can also be counted for 30 seconds and then doubled to get the count for the minute.
Checking the heart rate is important as that can provide critical information about the health of the individual. Any alteration in the normal standard heart rate can indicate a health condition that has to be examined.
A fast heart rate can indicate any infection in the body or dehydration. Moreover, in an emergency situation, it can be used to determine if the heart of the individual is pumping or not.
After some kind of physical activity, the heart rate of the individual can give an indication of the fitness level of the person.
There are ranges of heart rate that corresponds to the different age group of kids and are used to assess the health condition of the kids.
However, in the case of well-trained athletes who are in physical activity for many years, the normal heart rate varies between 40-60 beats in a minute.
Many people are unaware of what is a normal kid’s heart rate. It is important to keep in view that in a particular age group, the heart rate is likely to remain within the expected standard range.
However, there can be several factors that can alter the heart rate of a child.
Knowing how to check the heart rate of the kid and being aware of the standard range of heart rate in a particular age can help the parents and caregivers to take any action that might be needed in case of any medical emergency.
Some factors that can change the heart rate of a kid and make it faster are, some environmental factors like vigorous playing and exercise, and feeling anxious stressed, or afraid of any situation.
There can also be some other physical factors that can increase the heart rate of a kid. These factors are, experiencing some kind of pain or injury in the body, and experiencing some kind of sickness or fever.
An increased heart rate can also be caused by some other external factors like lack of water in the body causing dehydration or consuming a lot of caffeinated drinks.
A faster heart rate in kids caused by any of the above-mentioned factors does not require any serious concern or attention. It is usually resolved when the primary cause is taken care of.
However, faster heart rate caused by the consumption of caffeine can have some issues as typically caffeine is not good for the health of kids.
Moreover, parents and caregivers should also be aware of the fact that generally the heart rate of kids is faster than that of adults and can be raised due to physical activity, which is safe and does not call for any concern.
A faster heart rate in kids accompanied by chest pain or difficulty in breathing is a cause of concern and it is better to consult a medical professional in such a situation.
One thing to keep in consideration is to opt for medical intervention if the heartbeats of the kid are too fast to be counted.
Moreover, a child is expected to have a slower heart rate while sleeping. However, if a kid exhibits a slower heart rate during the day accompanied by symptoms of fainting or lethargy then medical help should be sought. Hence, it is essential to know about what is a normal kid’s heart rate and what steps should be taken if the results are not favorable.
Abnormal heart rate in kids is termed Arrhythmia. It is caused by an electrical short circuit in the heart. Owing to this, the heart can beat too fast, too slow, or irregularly, and such abnormality in the heart rate can cause several other complications like dizziness, chest pain, or fatigue.
While most conditions of arrhythmia do not need medical intervention, if it causes other serious issues then it should be evaluated by a doctor.
Some of the common signs and symptoms of arrhythmia are, fatigue, dizziness, lightheadedness, weakness, palpitations, chest pain, fainting, and shortness of breath. Although this condition is constant, most of the time they can come and go.
In some cases, arrhythmia may not have any physical symptoms at all and will only be diagnosed during some routine medical examination.
In case medical intervention is needed, there are several options that can be used for the treatment.
These include the use of medications, surgical procedures for implanting a pacemaker, implanting a defibrillator to regulate the abnormality and restore a normal heartbeat, catheter ablation that can freeze and destroy the defective cardiac muscle.
If all the treatment options fail, then lastly surgical removal of the defective heart muscle causing the arrhythmia.
A heart rate that is lower than the standard range can indicate a medical condition.
Two of the most common conditions associated with low heart rate are sinus bradycardia and a heart block.
Any kind of abnormality in the heart rate can be diagnosed by several tests and these are, Echocardiogram (ECG or EKG), stress tests, image tests, or by using a wearable heart monitor. Knowing what is a normal kid’s heart rate can help in saving the kid’s life.