Children naturally have a higher pulse rate than adults. The question is, what is normal?
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Average Heart Rate
The average heart rate of a 10-year-old is 95 beats per minute. The range of normal is 70 to 110. This is the pulse of a healthy child's heart.
Maximum Heart Rate
The maximum heart rate of a 10-year-old while exerting, exercising and playing is 210. This is calulated with the following formula: 220 - 10 [age] = maximum heart rate
Target Heart Rate
The target heart rate is the rate you want to get your heart beating in order to experience the maximum benefit from working out. This is true for 10-year-olds, as well as adults. The target heart rate is about 50 per cent of the maximum, so 105 for a 10-year-old. To be safe, one never wants to go beyond 85 per cent of their maximum, which for a 10-year-old would be 178.5 beats a minute.
Medication and Heart Rate
Besides exercise and sleep there are other factors that can impact the pulse rate. The most common factor that can alter a child's heart rate is medication. Pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, reduce the pulse. Some pain relievers have caffeine, as do some antihistamines, which elevate the pulse. Asthma medication often has a steroid, which increases the heart rate. When giving your child medication note what is a normal fluctuation and what is a warning sign.
Illness and Heart Rate
Having a cold, the flu or an infection can effect the pulse. Coughing tends to elevate heart rates, as do fevers. When the body is fighting off an infection, the heart rate can go up as the body fights to ward of disease and produce white blood cells.
Low Heart Rate
Low heart rate, a pulse under 60, can be a sign of an extremely healthy child or a warning sign. If the 10-year-old is listless, weak, dizzy, short of breath, confused, light-headed and tired, a low heart rate may indicate that the heart is not pumping enough oxygen through the body and should be examined.
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