Normal Vital Signs for a Four Year Old

Written by elizabeth (lisa)thompson
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Normal Vital Signs for a Four Year Old
Monitoring a four year old child's vital signs (Doctor examines the patient image by Ella from Fotolia.com)

At almost every doctor's visit, medical personnel will check the patient's vital signs. This is true if the patient is a newborn or an 100 year old person or any age in between. Even for parents, knowing the normal vital signs of their children for their corresponding ages can be life-saving. Vital signs include the following: respiration, pulse and blood pressure. Normal numbers are expressed in a range as there will be a certain amount of fluctuations between children in addition to differences between the sexes. The normal body temperature for all humans is approximately 37 degrees Celsius.

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Respirations

According to Dr. Ronald Pirrallo, an emergency doctor, the respiration rate, also known as the normal breathing rate, for a four year old is typically between 20 and 40 breaths per minute.

Pulse

According to the website www.kidsgrowth.com, the normal pulse rate, which indicates the heart rate, for most four year olds should range between 80 and 130 beats per minute. They also indicate that heart rate adjusts approximately ten per cent per degree Celsius and five per cent per degree Fahrenheit. In warmer weather, a person's heart will beat more quickly, while in colder weather, his heart will beat more slowly.

Blood Pressure

According to www.kidsgrowth.com, the normal diastolic, or minimum, blood pressure for a four year old should be between 45 and 65. The same website indicates that most four year olds should have a systolic, or maximum blood pressure between 70 and 110.

Other Considerations

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), children's health is no longer assessed using weight. Too many variables affect a child's weight including any growth, differences between the sexes and monthly changes. Instead, the CDC recommends the use of Body Mass Index (BMI) to ascertain overweight or obese children, including four year olds. However, because of fluctuations, BMI is not used as a diagnostic tool.

Additional assessments such as skin fold thickness measurements are needed. In addition, the CDC added that two children may have the same BMI while one may be considered obese and the other is not. Considering the differences in ages and sexes will lead to a different percentile ranking on the BMI scale. According to the CDC, the average range in height for a four year old boy ranges from 37 to 43.5 inches. For a girl of the same age, the average height range is from 36.5 to 43 inches.

Normal Vital Signs for a Four Year Old
Medical personnel use BMI, not weight, to determine children's health. (antique scale image by Kate Jones from Fotolia.com)

Possible Concerns

According to information found at www.kidsgrowth.com, medical personnel become concerned when inconsistent fluctuations in weight and height occur. Normally, weight and height will increase at a steady consistent rate. Extreme fluctuations in temperature, respiration, blood pressure or pulse of a four year old give reason for immediate concern and warrant a trip to the emergency room.

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