Last reviewed 09/2021

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


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