Baby Care: Interpretation of the Apgar Score

Baby Care: Interpretation of the Apgar Score

Baby Care: Interpretation of the Apgar Score



 – What is the Apgar score?

 – Apgar score: interpretation

 – Tip for remembering the five criteria for observing the Apgar score


 This is the first score that all babies get. Yet they will not be able to remember it. This assessment is done systematically, often without the parents even noticing it… What is the Apgar score? How is it established? Is it a determining factor for the good development of the newborn? Get all the answers in thispost..

What is the Apgar score?

 Right after birth, the newborn is examined to assess the Apgar score. This test, named after Virginia Apgar, an anesthesiologist who developed it in 1952 in the United States, consists of the observation of several points in order to ensure the good health of the baby.

 Five elements are taken into account to establish a score between 0 and 10:

 – heart rate, based on the number of heartbeats in one minute;

 – breathing, whether the baby is breathing with or without difficulty;

 – skin color, a pinkish aspect is more precisely looked for;

 – muscle tone, the baby is waving his arms and legs;

 – and reactivity, the baby expresses a response to stimulation such as grimacing, crying, or screaming.

Apgar score: interpretation

Baby Care: Interpretation of the Apgar Score

 Between 0 and 2 points are assigned based on the results of observations of each of the five criteria:

 – With a score of 10 out of 10, the baby shows the best signs of vitality: pink skin, pulse over 100 beats per minute, crying or crying, normal breathing, and good tone. He will then receive the usual care.

 – Between 4 and 7, adapted care will be given to improve the baby’s score, especially for the airways.

 – Below 3, the newborn requires urgent resuscitation care.

 The Apgar score is taken one minute after birth and repeated if necessary at 3, 5, or 10 minutes of life. It is used to quickly give the vital care that the newborn may need. In this way, this score will eventually be reduced to a note in the health record.

 Note: Several studies have pointed out that an Apgar score of 7 or more at 5 minutes is not sufficient. Indeed, if the score is not 10 at 5 minutes, the risk of epilepsy and even more cerebral palsy increases, hence the importance of prompt resuscitation.

 Tip for remembering the five criteria for observing the Apgar score

 The five letters that make up the name APGAR can help you remember what you are looking for:

 – A is for a newborn’s skin appearance;

 – P is for baby’s pulse;

 – G is for grimace in response to stimulation;

 – A is for activity, a sign of muscle tone;

 – R is for respiration.

Apgar score





Muscle tone

Reactivity to stimulation


Less than 80 beats per minute

No respiratory movement

Blue or pale skin


No response


Between 80 and 100 beats per minute

Irregular breathing

Pink body, blue hands, and feet

Movement of arms or legs



More than 100 beats per minute

Regular breathing

Body completely pink

Movement of arms and legs

Crying or screaming

Did you like this post? Please leave us your comments below. We will come back soon with other interesting topics such as:

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