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Shock is a state the body can enter into as a response to either serious trauma or intense pain.  Shock is a very real and deadly condition, and should not be treated lightly.  Shock can often occur as a deadly side effect to an otherwise non-fatal injury, such as a broken leg.  Below are the most common symptoms of shock:

Symptoms of shock:

  • Cold sweat
  • Weakness
  • Irregular breathing (see below)
  • Chills
  • Pale or blue colored lips
  • Pale or blue colored fingernails
  • A fast but weak pulse
  • Nausea
  • Disorientation

Shock is a very serious condition and needs to be addressed immediately.  When a person goes into shock, their body systems basically shut down to deal with extreme pain or trauma.  Shock can result in death, whether or not the injury that caused the shock was life threatening.  If you suspect your child is going into shock, call 911 immediately.  While you are waiting for emergency crews, you should….

  • Get your child to a comfortable spot
  • Keep your child warm by covering them with a blanket
  • Do not offer the child food or drink
  • Do your best to relax and calm the child.

Normal respiratory rates in children and adults

This is the rate at which a person breathes.  It increases with fever, illness, and shock.  To determine the respiratory rate in your child, remove their shirt, and count the number of times the chest rises in 1 full minute.  Or do this for 15 seconds and multiply that number by 4 to get a rate per minute.

  • Normal newborn respiration rate:  40-60 breaths per minute
  • Normal 1-6 year old respiration rate:  18-26 breaths per minute
  • 7 years to adult respiration rate:  12-24 breaths per minute

Of course, respiratory rates will also increase with physical activity, so you have to factor this into your account.

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