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Normal Ranges for Physiological Variables

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    This guideline has been adapted for statewide use with the support of the Victorian Paediatric Clinical Network

  • See also

    Get a printed version of this table for your lanyard or a version to have on your smartphone 
    Febrile Child guideline 
    Resuscitation guideline

    Key Points

    1. These are acceptable ranges for unwell children.
    2. Patterns of change in these variables are as important as the thresholds shown here e.g. a heart rate that is steadily rising through the acceptable range should trigger attention before it crosses the 95th centile.

    Normal Ranges


    These are acceptable ranges for unwell children.

    • They are not what would be expected normal ranges for healthy children.

    The values shown here match those currently being used on the ViCTOR observation charts as thresholds for patients needing review and

    • There are many publications giving normal or acceptable ranges for physiological variables in children. Published values are quite disparate and probably reflect differing populations and assessment methods. The values shown here have been chosen as they are more representative of unwell children.
    • The heart rate and respiratory rate values are drawn from the 5th & 95th centiles (bracketed for age and rounded to workable values) from
      Bonafide CP, Brady PW, Keren R, Conway PH, Marsolo K, Daymont C. (2013). Development of heart and respiratory rate percentile curves for hospitalized children.  Pediatrics,131 (4), e1150-e1157).

    For emergency advice and paediatric or neonatal ICU transfers, call the Paediatric Infant Perinatal Emergency Retrieval (PIPER) Service: 1300 137 650.

    Last updated Nov 2017