Rapid respiration (tachypnoea) is one of the most important signs of pneumonia. A child at rest is breathing too fast when the following rates are exceeded:
- 60 breaths or more per minute in an infant of 2 months or less
- 50 breaths or more per minute in children 2 months to 1 year
- 40 breaths or more per minute in children older than 1 year
The normal respiratory rate decreases with age. By the age of 12 years healthy children should not breathe faster than 20 breaths per minute.