Normal Pulse Rate on an Infant

Infant pulse rate can help you assess health.
Infant pulse rate can help you assess health. (Image: Image by, courtesy of D. Sharon Pruitt)

Infant pulse rate is an important indicator of overall health. Too high or too low of a pulse rate indicates a potential health issue. You should always consult your doctor if you suspect any issue with heart rate.

What Is Pulse Rate?

Pulse rate is the rate at which your heart beats. It is typically measured in beats per minute, or BPM.

Why Is It Important?

Pulse rate can be an early indicator of health problems. For example, a low pulse rate may indicate adverse reaction to medicine. A high pulse rate may indicate stress, fever, anemia or asthma.

Normal Pulse Rate

Normal pulse rate varies with age. The normal pulse rate for an infant up to 1 year old is 100 to 160 beats per minute.

Infant vs. Adult Pulse Rate

Infant pulse rate is significantly higher than adult pulse rate. This is because an infant grows rapidly, and a baby's high metabolism requires more oxygen to help the body get rid of CO2.

Taking a Pulse Rate

Pulse rate is most easily measured where an artery comes close to skin. For an infant, the easiest place to check pulse rate is on the brachial artery, which is on the upper arm between the elbow and shoulder.

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