The heart rate is the number of beats (rhythmic contractions) per minute of the heart (the muscular organ in the center of the chest that maintains circulation of the blood) and is a measure of cardiac activity. A fast heart rate is greater than 100 beats per minute for an adult or child at rest, greater than 120 beats per minute for an infant (age one month to one year), and greater than 160 beats per minute for a newborn under one month old.
The heart rate, usually measured by checking the arterial pulse or sounds counting the times of the heart beat, is considered one of the vital signs. Vital signs – body temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure provide information about the state of health of a person and, if abnormal, offer clues to problems. The heart rate is the number of time the heart beats per minute and is usually measured by holding a finger to the radial artery at the wrist. Other places it can be measured are at the neck (carotid artery), the groin (femoral artery), and the feet (dorsalis pedis and posterior tibial arteries).
The resting adult heart rate is normally 60-100 beats per minute.
Athletes may have a lower normal heart rate.
The normal heart rate for children aged 1-8 years is 80-100 beats per minute
The normal heart rate for infants age 1 to 12 months is 100 to 120 beats per minute
The normal heart rate for newborns (under one month old) is 120 to 160 beats per minute
The heart rate should be strong and regular with out any missed beats. If it is beating faster than the normal rates, it might indicate a medical problem. Check your own pulse when you feel sick, have a fever, or feel your heart racing or beating irregularly. Provide this information to your doctor to help assess your health status.
Abdominal aortic aneurysm
Acute mountain sickness
Side effects of medications
Alcohol related problem
Low blood sugar
Assess and treat underlying condition.
Call your provider :
With any alteration in heart rate outside of the normal ranges stated above.
If you experience any of these symptoms along with a change in your heart rate:
Passing out or fainting
Blindness or visual change
Pallor (pale skin)
Cyanosis (skin turns blue)
Written by: JC Jones MA, RN Reviewed by: Paul Auerbach, MD Written: September 7, 2007 Last Updated: September 30, 2007 Published By:
Healthline Networks Inc.