Ways To Recognize Normal Body Temperature, Pulse, Respiration And Blood Pressure
- It is normal for infants and toddlers to have a slightly higher body temperature than older children and adults.
- A normal rectal temperature is about ½ to 1 degree higher than oral temperature. A normal axillary temperature (taken under the armpit) is usually ½ to 1 degree lower than the oral temperature.
- If the reading on the thermometer is more than 1 or 1.5 degrees higher than normal, then the person is likely running a fever.
- Most fevers are caused by an infection somewhere in the body. A fever is the body’s way of fighting back against infection. The fever tries to kill bacteria by producing heat for the body. However, if a person’s temperature gets higher that 104oF, the fever becomes life-threatening.
- Abnormally low temperature can be serious too. They can cause the body to “shut down.” Keep in mind that both high and low temperature can be quite fatal.
- Normal pulse rates vary with age. For a newborn, the average heart rate is about 140 beats per minute. The pulse of the child in elementary school is about 100. Teenagers and adults have heart rates of 60 to 100 beats per minute. A professional athlete has a pulse rate of about 40 to 60.
- A pulse may be too high as a result of a disease, heavy exercise, fever of depression.
- Some medications help reduce a person’s pulse. Take immediate action if you noticed your pulse is less than 60 beats per minute.
- A normal respiratory rate ranges from 12 to 24 breaths per minute.
- Children tend to breathe faster, and the elderly usually breathe slower.
- People may breathe faster because of exercise, a fever or stress.
- People who are dying often have slow and very irregular breathing patterns. This is a typical symptom associated with the dying process.
- The normal range for blood pressure is about 100/60 to 140/90.
- Many factors could affect the blood pressure including heart disease, problems with the brain or nervous system, kidney disease, pregnancy, emotions (especially stress, anger, or fear), medications and some food high in sodium).
- High blood pressure can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and kidney failure. Low blood pressure can cause dizziness which increases the risk for falls. Very low blood pressure can be a sign that a person is going into shock or seriously ill.