Normal Heart Rate for Kids and How to Check Your Pulse
Wondering how fast your heart is beating? You can measure it in just 3 steps! Your heart rate is the number of times your heart pumps blood around the body in one minute. Doctors and nurses can hear your amazing heart by putting a stethoscope on your chest. But it’s also helpful check your heart rate in other areas. Your pulse is the type of heart rate that you can feel.
All about your heart rate and pulse
Every time your heart beats, the heart squirts blood throughout blood vessels called arteries. The arteries need to carry fresh, oxygen-rich blood to all of your organs.
When you check your pulse, you are feeling the blood flow through a large artery under your skin. This tells us that blood from your heart has made the journey to far-away body parts.
Where can you feel your pulse?
Here are three popular places to check your pulse.
You can find the carotid pulse on the side of your neck. This area is under the corner of your jawbone.
In children and adults, the carotid pulse is one of the best places to check the heart rate.
But this area is not a safe option in babies since they have short and chubby necks.
You can find the radial pulse on the side of your wrist. This area is under your thumb.
You can find the brachial pulse in the inside of the upper arm. This is the best area to check a baby’s pulse.
Other places with pulses
Doctors, nurses, and emergency rescuers need to know how check pulses in many parts of the body.
Can you find these other pulses on your body?
- The femoral pulse is in the crease of your hip between your leg and belly.
- The pedal pulse is on the the top of your foot, and the brachial pulse is under the elbow.
How to check your pulse in 3 steps
You can check your pulse at home, school, during sports games, or anywhere!
All you need is a stopwatch, a timer, or a watch with a second hand.
Although you can keep counting pulse beats for a whole minute, sometimes people lose track of the number when they count for a longer time. But if you’re curious, you can measure your pulse for a full 60 seconds!
Normal heart rate for babies, kids, teens, and adults
Based on research, scientists have noticed which heart rate numbers are usually healthy for different ages. They have also kept track of heart rate patterns when children are resting compared to when they are busy moving around.
Here are common resting heart rates for babies, children, teenagers, and adults:
Kids have a faster heart rate than adults!
Have you ever felt your pulse and compared it to someone older or younger than you?
Babiest have the fastest heart rates. As kids grow up and become adults, the heart rate starts to slow down.
By the teenage years, the typical heart rate is the same range as adults. This is because the body becomes more like an adult after puberty.
Ask a friend or relative for permission to check their pulse. How does their heart rate compare to yours?
Why does your heart rate change throughout the day?
Depending on whether your body needs more oxygen-rich blood flow, your heart will speed up and slow down. Usually, when your organs are more active and need more oxygen, then your heart muscle will rev up and pump up the action.
What causes your heart to beat faster?
When you exercise, your heart pumps faster to keep up with your movements. Your heart also speeds up when you’re scared, excited, or nervous. During active or stressful events, many people feel like their heart is pounding.
Run around for 1 minute and check your pulse. What number did you get this time?
What causes your heart to slow down?
When you rest and sleep, your heart pumps slower. Mindfulness activities can also help your heart relax.
Lay down on a couch and rest for 5 minutes. Then measure your pulse again. What number did you get this time?
Learn more about your amazing heart!
Where is your heart, and what’s inside of it? How does blood get from the heart to other parts of the body?
With the Human Body Learning Lab book, you can have fun exploring these great questions!
Human Body Learning Lab is filled with kid-friendly science facts, memorable experiments, diverse realistic images, and practical health tips.