When it comes to the health and well-being of little ones it becomes top priority of parents and guardians. Understanding the heart rates of kids or children is crucial in order to monitor their health. Heart rates of children may vary depending on their age, activity level, and overall health.
Children’s heart rate levels change according to their lifestyles and overall health which makes monitoring them important! This insightful article will inform you about all the important points you need to know associated with dangerous heart rates including indicators for danger and when to seek medical attention, etc.
Once you’ve gone through this informative article you’ll feel more confident in safeguarding your child’s cardiovascular health!
1. What Is A Normal Heart Rate For Children
If you are a parent, you might be wondering about the normal or static heart rate of a child. The answer is not so straightforward because a child’s natural heart rate fluctuates from time to time as they grow. Heart rates of younger children tend to have higher than older children and adults and this is because their hearts are smaller and need to pump more blood to meet their body’s oxygen needs.
For instance, infants between newborns up until three months old typically have an average resting heart rate ranging from about 85-205 beats per minute (bpm) while awake; while this number drops slightly during sleep with values ranging between roughly 80-160 bpm.
Similarly, children aged between three months and two years may present with an average heartbeat ranging anywhere from roughly 75 bpm during slumbering periods all the way up towards or exceeding 160 pm at rest.
Expect children aged between two and ten years old to record an average resting heart rate (RHR) of between about 60 to 140 beats per minute (bpm) when awake and around 60 to 90 bpm while asleep.
From age ten and upwards this figure narrows slightly down with RHR averaging at about 60 to 100 bpm during waking hours and about 50 to 90 bpm while sleeping.
However, it should be noted that these ranges only serve as guidelines; individual factors such as their exercise regime can cause variations in children’s heart rates.
2. Factors That Can Affect a Child’s Heart Rate
Your child’s heart rate might not beat at the same pace every time. It could occasionally move quicker than normal range or slower than normal. This is typical and a child’s heart rate can be impacted by a number of typical variables, including:
Whenever your child suffers from fever, their body temperature rises and their heart has to work harder to cool it down. And, this process can make their heart rate go up by 10 to 20 bpm for every degree of fever.
Reduction of water levels in a child’s body can also affect the heart rate of a child because due to low water levels, the heart will have no choice but to work harder and ultimately increase its rate by anywhere from ten to fifteen beats per minute.
In some situations, kids feel anxiety or fear which causes in discharge of tension hormones (cortisol and adrenaline), and that can elevate their heart rate by 20 to 30 beats per minute or possibly more.
Consumption of certain medications or high dosages of medications in the daily routine of a child can cause abnormality in heart rates too. As an illustration, some drugs utilized for treating asthma may result in tachycardia, whereas certain beta-blockers may induce bradycardia.
When your child engages in exercise or any form of physical activity, their muscles demand increased oxygen and nutrients supplied through the bloodstream. In response, the cardiac muscle ramps up its exertions, propelling the heart to pulsate at a heightened rhythm to meet these amplified needs.
During sleep, kids experience lowered metabolic rates which can cause decreases in cardiovascular activity such as reduced blood flow and slower heart contractions. As such, it’s not uncommon for little ones’ resting heart rates to drop by up to 20 bpm or more during naptime.
3. Signs and Symptoms of a Dangerous Heart Rate in Children
As a parent determining whether your child is experiencing a normal versus high/low heart rate can prove challenging at times. Its possible that you won’t detect any physical manifestations of this issue whatsoever.
Perhaps their appearance and actions will vary from time to time too. As such take note of these potential signs and symptoms that could indicate an alarming heart rate in your young one:
3.1 Chest Pain
A cardiac condition may be present if your kid complains of chest pain or discomfort, particularly if it spreads to their arm, neck, or jaw. Asthma, indigestion, or nervousness are only a few causes of chest discomfort, but it should never be disregarded.
3.2 Shortness of Breath
Concerns about your child’s heart health should be taken seriously if they have trouble breathing or feel like they can’t catch their breath. While other factors like allergies or asthma can cause shortness of breath, seeking medical attention is important to rule out any underlying heart problems.
Don’t ignore the possibility that your kids’ feelings of dizziness or lightheadedness might be pointing towards something more severe – like a heart issue. Yes, other things like dehydration and ear infections can also lead to these symptoms.
A heart problem may be indicated if a child suddenly loses consciousness or faints, but there are other possible explanations such as dehydration, low blood pressure, or stress.
When a child feels their heartbeat to be too fast, slow, or irregular, it may signal a cardiac issue. Palpitations can be a result of various factors, including anxiety, high caffeine intake, and fever.
4. Potential Risks of a Dangerous Heart Rate in Children
There are various potential risks of a dangerous heart rate in children or kids and it’s crucial to address an unsafe heart rate in children promptly to prevent potentially severe outcomes. Some complications that may occur due to an unsafe heart rate in children include:
4.1 Cardiac Arrest:
Suffering from an abrupt loss of heart function can cause a cessation of blood flow towards vital organs like the brain and other tissues. Often this happens when one experiences an extremely fast or slow heartbeat resulting in inadequate pumping functionality by the heart.
4.2 Heart Failure:
In cases where the heart fails to pump sufficient amounts of blood necessary for proper bodily function, individuals may experience heart failure. Often caused by continuous strain on the organ -as seen in cardiovascular disease– or sudden external forces like an unexpected change in heart rhythm or patterns; symptoms like shortness of breath, fatigue, and limited ability to exercise become prevalent.
When an obstruction caused by a clot or bleed impedes blood supply in the brain region concerned, it results in stroke. Underlying factors linked with this include abnormality in heart rate patterns such as rapidity and irregularity of rhythm that heighten risk factors for arterial plaque detachment and clot formation.
4.4 Organ Damage:
Reduced or blocked blood flow leading to damage of vital organs such as kidneys, liver, lungs and intestines characterizes organ ischemia. Such impairment may arise from causes including but not limited to high/low heart rate.
5. What to Do If You Notice a Dangerous Heart Rate in Your Child
Discovering that your child has an elevated heart rate could be a worrisome experience for any parent. However its crucial to maintain a composed demeanor in such circumstances and act swiftly.
The first protocol is to examine the child’s temperature and hydration levels since both fever and dehydration have the potential to contribute to an accelerated heartbeat. If either is present manage accordingly ensuring they are well-hydrated and rested.
Calming the child down is also important since nervousness or overwhelming emotions may be another cause for heightened pulse rates. Techniques that help soothe nerves like music therapy calming verbal support or deep breathing exercises could prove useful.
To keep track of the heart rate you could use technology i.e. smartwatches or pulse oximeters but when these methods aren’t available counting beats manually with two fingers on the neck/wrist would suffice equally well.