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Tachycardia in children

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Tachycardia in adult is defined as a pulse rate of >100 beats per minute.

An abnormally fast pulse has various possible causes:

  • sinus tachycardia - the rhythm is normal
  • cardiac arrhythmias causing tachycardia where the rhythm is not normal

Tachycardia in a child varies depending on the age of a child (see table below). For example a pulse rate of 130 in a 10 year old is tachycardia but not in a 1 year old.

Heart rate by age (normal ranges) (1):

Age (years)

Heart rate (beats per minute)

<1

110-160

1-2

100-150

2-5

95-140

5-12

80-120

>12

60-100

Reference:

  • 1) Paediatric Assessment. University of Southampton NHS Hospitals Trust (accessed 2/1/13)

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