Infants, pre-schoolers and kids have normal respiratory rate that is different from adults. Usually the normal respiratory rate for children is much higher than adults as their lungs are still developing and they need to breathe faster in order to get the required oxygen.
Knowing what the normal respiratory rate for children is will allow a parent to figure out when their kid is suffering from a respiratory disorder. This, in turn, will ensure that the kid gets early medical treatment so that complications are avoided.
So, what is the normal respiratory rate for children? It has been seen that infants have a very fast normal respiratory rate and this rate tends to vary in the initial 6 months of the infants' life. Usually, newborn babies have a normal respiratory rate of around thirty to sixty breaths in a single minute. However, some time during the first year of the infant's life, the respiratory rate tends to stabilize more or less. So, kids between the ages of 1 and 5 years will have a normal respiratory rate of around twenty to thirty breaths in a single minute. Once the kid reaches the age of 6 years to 12 years, the rate of respiration tends to reduce and gets slower. In this age group, the kid will have a normal respiratory rate of around twelve to twenty breaths in one minute.
However, this rate can reduce when the kid is feeling sleepy, is sleeping or is involved in a quiet activity that requires concentration. On the other hand, if you notice that your kid's breathing is slow but the heart is racing, then you should immediately rush the kid to the hospital. This is an indication that there is a problem with the kid's heart. Also, when a child has a lung infection, metabolic disorder or encephalitis, then also the respiratory rate slows down. On the other hand, the respiratory rate can increase if the child is suffering from asthma or some other health issue.
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