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The norm of CHD in children: table. Frequency of respiratory movements

One of the actions performed when examined by a pediatrician is the counting of respiratory movements. This simple at first glance indicator carries important information about the state of health in general and the functioning of the respiratory system and the cardiovascular system in particular.

How to calculate the frequency of respiratory movements (RPM) per minute? This is not particularly difficult. But with the interpretation of the data there are certain difficulties. This is more true of young parents, because having received a result in a child several times greater than their own, they panic. Therefore, in this article we propose to understand, what is the norm of children's health. The table will help us in this.

Features of the child's respiratory system

The first thing that the future mother expects for so long is the baby's first cry. It is with this sound that his first breath takes place. By the time of birth, the organs that ensure the breathing of the baby are not fully developed yet, and only with the growth of the organism does the maturation take place (both in functional and morphological terms).

Nasal passages (which are the upper respiratory tract) in newborns have their own characteristics:
• They are narrow enough.
• Relatively short.
• Their inner surface is tender, with a huge number of vessels (blood, lymphatic).

Therefore, even with minor catarrhal phenomena, the nasal mucosa in a child swells quickly, and so is the small lumen, as a result - breathing becomes difficult, shortness of breath develops: small children can not breathe with their mouths yet. The younger the child, the more dangerous the consequences may be, and the sooner it is necessary to eliminate the pathological condition.

Pulmonary tissue in young children also has its own characteristics. They, unlike adults, poorly developed lung tissue, and the lungs themselves have a small volume with a huge number of blood vessels.

Rules for calculating the frequency of breathing

The measurement of the frequency of respiratory movements does not require any special skills or equipment. All that is needed is a stopwatch (or a clock with a second hand) and observance of simple rules.

The person should be in a quiet state and in a comfortable position. If it is a question of children, especially early age, then it is better to count respiratory movements in a dream. If there is no such possibility, you should as much as possible distract the subject from the manipulation. To do this, it is sufficient to take up the wrist (where the pulse is usually determined) and in the meantime count the frequency of breathing. It should be noted that the pulse of children under the age of about 130-125 beats per minute should not cause concern - this is the norm.

Infants are strongly encouraged to count the frequency of breathing during sleep, since crying can greatly affect the result and give deliberately false figures. Putting your hand on the front abdominal wall (or simply visually), you can easily carry out this study.

Considering that breathing has its rhythmic cycle, it is necessary to observe the duration of its calculation. Be sure to perform a BHD measurement for a full minute, rather than multiplying the result obtained in just 15 seconds by four. It is recommended to perform three counts and calculate the average value.

The norm of CHD in children

The table shows the norms of the frequency of respiratory movements. Data are presented for children of different age groups.

As we see from the table, the frequency of respiratory movements per minute is higher the younger the child. Gradually, as they grow older, their number decreases, and to the pubertal period, when the child turns 14-15 years old, the respiration rate becomes equal to this figure in an adult healthy person. There are no differences on the basis of gender.

Types of breathing

There are three main types of breathing in the adult and in the child: thoracic, abdominal and mixed.

The thoracic type is more characteristic for the female representative. With it, the inhalation / exhalation is provided to a greater extent by the movements of the chest. The disadvantage of this type of respiratory movement is poor ventilation of the lower parts of the lung tissue. While in the abdominal type, when the diaphragm is more involved (and the front abdominal wall visually moves during respiration), the upper sections of the lungs experience a lack of ventilation. This type of respiratory movement is inherent in a greater degree for men.

But with a mixed type of breathing, there is a uniform (equal) expansion of the chest with an increase in the volume of its cavity in all four directions (upper-lower, lateral). This is the most correct type of breathing, which provides optimal ventilation of the entire lung tissue.

Normally, the respiratory rate in a healthy adult is 16-21 per minute, in newborns - 60 per minute. Above, the norm of the HD in children is more detailed (table with age norms).

Rapid breathing

The first sign of the defeat of the respiratory system, especially in infectious diseases, is the rapidity of breathing. There will be other signs of a cold (cough, runny nose, wheezing, etc.). Quite often when the body temperature rises, the respiratory rate increases and the pulse in children increases.

Holding your breath in a dream

Quite often in young children (especially babies), a short duration of respiratory arrest is noted in the dream. This is a physiological feature. But if you notice that such episodes increase, their duration becomes longer or other symptoms appear, such as blue lips or nasolabial triangles, unconsciousness, immediately it is necessary to call an ambulance to prevent irreversible consequences.


Respiratory organs in young children have a number of features that contribute to their frequent damage and rapid decompensation of the condition. This is primarily due to their immaturity at the time of birth, certain anatomical and physiological features, incomplete differentiation of the structures of the central nervous system and their direct influence on the respiratory center and respiratory organs.
The younger the child, the smaller volume of lungs he possesses, so, therefore, he will need to do more respiratory movements (inhale / exhale) to provide the body with the necessary amount of oxygen.

Summing up

It should be remembered that in children of the first months of life, respiratory arrhythmia is quite common. Most often this is not a pathological condition, but only indicative of age-related features.

So, now you also know what is the norm of children's health. The table of average indicators should be taken into account, but one should not panic for small deviations. And be sure to consult a doctor before making hasty conclusions!

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