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Author(s): Nancy Moreno, PhD, Barbara Tharp, MS, and Judith Dresden, MS.

How to Safely Take Your Pulse

Safety Issue
Do not have students use the carotid artery in the neck to find their pulse. Applying too much pressure there could stimulate a reflex mechanism that can slow down the heart. 

The safest and most common site to check pulse is on the thumb side of the wrist (radial pulse). Use the middle finger and ring finger together to apply slight pressure at the location shown. This is the pulse site recommended for the general public by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health.


Funded by the following grant(s)

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

My Health My World: National Dissemination
Grant Number: 5R25ES009259
The Environment as a Context for Opportunities in Schools
Grant Number: 5R25ES010698, R25ES06932


Houston Endowment Inc.

Foundations for the Future: Capitalizing on Technology to Promote Equity, Access and Quality in Elementary Science Education