An oxygen saturation level reflects the amount of oxygen-rich blood passing through the bloodstream. Defined by the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Hawaii, a normal oxygen level for children is when at least 97 per cent of the bloodstream is saturated.
Oxygen saturation is the measurement of the amount of oxygen in a person's blood. Oxygen saturation levels are important in establishing the amount of oxygen passing through a person's lungs into oxygen-carrying red blood cells. Oxygen saturation levels are checked to see how well a child's heart and lungs are functioning.
Normal Oxygen Saturation Levels
According to the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Hawaii, a normal oxygen saturation level for children is defined as between 98 and 100 per cent, with a saturation level of 97 per cent considered borderline normal. Anything 96 per cent or below is considered abnormal.
Measuring Oxygen Saturation Levels
Measuring your child's oxygen saturation levels is safe and pain free. A small plastic probe or sensor, with a wire attached to it, is placed on your child's finger or toe. This probe has a red light on one side and a detector on the other side. This light shines through the blood veins of your child's finger or toe and is analysed by the detector on the other side, which measures the amount of oxygen in your child's blood.
Causes for Abnormal Oxygen Saturation Levels
According to the Mayo Clinic, causes of low blood-oxygen levels include pneumonia, anaemia, sleep apnoea and other respiratory distresses.
Treatment for Abnormal Oxygen Saturation Levels
Children experiencing abnormally low oxygen levels will be administered oxygen through a face mask or through nasal tubes.