Your pulse is the rate at which your heart is beating. Pulse rate is measured in beats per minute.
The heart pumps blood through the rest of the body, you can feel a throbbing whenever the arteries come close to the surface of your skin. The best places to take a pulse are at the neck, wrist or groin.
Place two of your fingers gently against the wrist. This is where the radial artery is located. Locate the heartbeat. The best two fingers are your first and second finger (the pointer finger and the ring finger). Never use your thumb.
You can also take a pulse at your neck. Find the heartbeat on either side of the windpipe. This heartbeat is found in the carotid artery. Press gently with two fingers.
Count the beats for 30 seconds. Take the number you get for 30 seconds and double it. This is the pulse rate.
If you need a resting pulse rate, take the pulse after resting quietly for a minimum of ten minutes. Your pulse rate can be raised by certain illnesses so it helps to know what your resting pulse rate is when you’re healthy. For example, your pulse rate raises approximately 10 beats per minute for every degree of fever.
Normal resting pulse
- Babies up to 12 months-100 to 160 beats/minute
- 1 to 6 years old-65 to 110 beats/minute
- 7 to 10 years old-60-110 beats/minute
- 11 and up-50 to 100 beats/minute
Note- these are general estimates of normal resting pulse rates
You never know when you may have to take a pulse rate. It’s actually very simple and a handy tool to have for an emergency situation where a pulse rate may be an indicator of whether or not to receive professional medical care.