This article was published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood in 2009.
The authors reviewed 14 studies in the scientific literature for normal oxygen values for children ages 1 week to 12 years.
Hypoxemia (low oxygen) was defined as oxygen saturation at or below the 2.5th% for healthy children at a given altitude.
At 8,200 feet (2,500 meters) elevation 97.5 % of children had oxygen concentrations above 90%
At 10,498 feet (3,200 meters) elevation this decreased to 85%, with 2.5 % of children were below this.
Should children living in Leadville, Alma and Fairplay be allowed to go untreated when their oxygen levels are 85-89%?
Now that many families have a pulse oximeter parents are measuring their children’s oxygen levels when they are sick, and presumably when they are well.
Therefore deciding when a child has a low oxygen that needs treatment can be based on the child’s levels when healthy. Unfortunately, these oximeters are not accurate in infants.