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Read the Apgar score

Author GreatDad Writers
Submitted 03-10-2006

Dads, do your know what an Apgar score is?


It is a test used by doctors at the time of your child’s birth. It helps assess the baby’s health and overall condition and determine the need for further medical intervention. The doctor will calculate your baby’s Apgar score one minute—and again five minutes— after birth. Ratings for each point are assigned between zero (lowest) and two (highest). These numbers are then totaled, with 10 indicating a perfect score.

An Apgar score is calculated on the following basis:


Activity (muscle tone)
0 — Limp and without movement
1 —Arms and legs flexed with little movement
2 — Active and spontaneous motion


Pulse (heart rate)
0 — Pulse absent
1 — Below 100 beats per minute
2 — Above 100 beats per minute


Grimace (reflex response)
0 — Responses absent
1 — Facial movement only
2 — Facial movement along with pulling away, coughing, or sneezing


Appearance (color)
0 —Bluish-gray or pale all over the body
1 — Normal body color but with bluish hands or feet
2 — Normal body color all over


0 —Breathing absent
1 — Weak, slow, or irregular breathing
2 — Good, normal breathing

The one-minute score indicates whether the baby requires immediate attention.
The five-minute score indicates the subsequent rate of the baby’s progress.