Pediatric Vital Signs to Know

nurse with baby assessing for pediatric vital signs

As a part of many lab values you have to remember as a nursing student, normal pediatric vital signs might be one of the most important.

It’s important for nurses to have knowledge of pediatric vital signs to be able to monitor and assess a child’s health status and provide appropriate interventions when necessary.

Normal ranges for infant vital signs vary depending on the age, weight, and overall health of the baby, and health care providers must be skilled in accurately measuring and interpreting these vital signs to ensure optimal care for their young patients. 

Vital signs of newborns, (which are infants up to 28 days old), are different from those of older infants (up to a year old).

Normal Pediatric Vital Signs (for Newborns and Infants)

Nurses should understand the normal ranges for both age groups and interpret the vital signs regarding the infant’s overall health status.

To differentiate between newborn and infant vital signs, nurses should measure and record newborns’ vital signs frequently, especially in the first few days of life, as newborns are at increased risk of developing health complications. 

Factors like activity level, medications, and medical conditions can also affect vital signs. Therefore, it’s essential for nurses to use their clinical judgment and consider each patient’s individual situation when assessing and interpreting vital signs.

Newborn & Infant Normal Respiration Rates

  • The normal respiratory rate for newborns is between 40 and 60 breaths per minute.
  • For infants, it ranges between 30 and 60 breaths per minute.

Normal Newborn & Infant Heart Rate

  • The normal heart rate for newborns is between 120 and 160 beats per minute.
  • For infants (1-12 months), it ranges between 80 and 160 beats per minute.

Unlock More Vital Lab Values Here

There are a lot more values you need to memorize on top of pediatric vitals. And if you want these pieces of information to really stick, you have to go beyond the classroom with supplemental resources.

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