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Newborn and Infant Care

Children`s heart rates

01/11/2000

Question:

Do children`s heart rates increase as they get older?

Answer:

Hello, Very good question! Generally, the heart rate decreases with age, after a slightly increased upper range of normal until about age one year. One of the reasons for the higher heart rates in newborns and younger children is that the only way they can increase their cardiac output (to meet increased demand for blood circulation) is to increase the overall heart rate, thus increasing the amount of blood pumped.

As children grow, their cardiovascular system matures, and cardiac output can be increased by increased contractility of the heart, so that more blood is pumped with each contraction. This enables them to increase the amount of blood circulation, without increasing the rate of the heart.

The following are generally accepted ranges for normal heart rates for different ages:

Newborn: 100-140 One month: 105-185 One year: 108-170 1-3 years: 90-150 3-5 years: 72-137 5-8 years: 65-132 8-12 years: 62-130 12-16 years: 62-120

I hope this information is useful.

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Response by:

Judy Wright Lott, RNC, NNP, DSN
Associate Professor of Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati