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Apgar Score


  • An Apgar score is a quick way for caregivers to see how your baby is doing after he is born. Your baby is checked at 1 minute and again at 5 minutes after birth. He is checked for A ppearance (skin color), P ulse (heart rate), G rimace (reflexes), A ctivity (muscle tone), and R espirations (breathing). Each part of the test is given a number from a low score of 0 to a normal score of 2. The Apgar score is the total of these numbers.
  • Caregivers use the score to help direct them in caring for your baby. Babies with a score of 7 to 10 at 5 minutes are usually given routine newborn care. The lower the score under 7 the greater the chance that your baby is in "distress" or having problems after birth. Babies with a score less than 4 or 5 have a greater chance of having serious problems. Babies born before the due date or at a high altitude may have a lower Apgar score. The Apgar score can not tell you how well your child will grow and develop.


You have the right to help plan your child's care. To help with this plan, you must learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. You can then discuss treatment options with your child's caregivers. Work with them to decide what care may be used to treat your child.


The lower the Apgar score below a score of 7, the greater the chance your baby may be having some problems after birth. Call your caregiver if you have questions or concerns about the Apgar score.



  • Appearance:
    • 0 - Pale or blue.
    • 1 - Body pink, extremities blue.
    • 2 - All pink.
  • Pulse:
    • 0 - Not detectable.
    • 1 - Below 100.
    • 2 - Over 100.
  • Grimace:
    • 0 - No response to stimulation.
    • 1 - Grimace.
    • 2 - Lusty cry, cough, or sneeze.
  • Activity:
    • 0 - No or weak activity.
    • 1 - Some movement of arms and legs.
    • 2 - A lot of activity.
  • Respiration:
    • 0 - None.
    • 1 - Slow, irregular.
    • 2 - Strong cry.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.