How to take the pulse of a 2-year-old

Written by kathryn hatter
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How to take the pulse of a 2-year-old
Measuring the pulse of a 2-year-old is simple. (Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images)

A child's pulse can indicate well-being or illness, depending on whether the pulse is elevated, slow or normal. When you must take the pulse of a 2-year-old child, try to keep the child calm so the heart rate does not elevate unnecessarily. With a low-key approach and a firm touch, you can feel the child's pulse rate in one of two different locations on the child's body.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Watch or clock with a second hand

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  1. 1

    Move your fingers either left or right of the child's Adam's apple, or larynx, toward the outside edge of the neck. Stop your fingers when you reach the hollow depression between the larynx and the neck muscle that runs vertically down the child's neck.

  2. 2

    Feel for the carotid artery in this spot. You should feel the artery pulsing.

  3. 3

    Begin counting the beats while timing for 10 seconds with a second hand. Stop counting immediately when 10 seconds elapses.

  4. 4

    Multiply the pulse by six to get the 2-year-old's pulse.

Tips and warnings

  • Alternatively, you can also count the pulse for 60 seconds without multiplying.
  • Another location to find a 2-year-old's pulse is the radial artery, located on the underside of the wrist, just below the thumb.
  • A 2-year-old's normal resting heart rate should fall between 70 and 110 beats per minute, according to the Kids Health website.

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