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High Blood Pressure in Children
(Hypertension in Children)
- Systolic pressure (the higher number)—the pressure inside of the arteries during each heart beat
- Diastolic pressure (the lower number)—the pressure inside of the arteries in between each heart beat
|Organs Impacted by High Blood Pressure|
|High blood pressure can affect the body in many ways.|
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- Essential (or primary)—The cause is not known.
- Secondary—The cause is related to another condition. This may include kidney disease or heart disease.
Essential high blood pressure
- Obesity (one of the most common risk factors)
- Diet high in salt
- Family history of high blood pressure
- African American ethnicity
- Secondary high blood pressure
- Have a headache
- Feel dizzy
- Have vision problems
- Feel tired
- Blood tests
- Urine tests
- Ultrasounds of the heart or kidneys
- Sleep study (if high blood pressure is linked to sleep problems)
- Eating a healthy diet . Keep the diet high in fruits and vegetables , and whole grains. You may also need to limit how much salt is in your child’s diet.
- If your child is overweight, follow a safe weight loss program. Use a program recommended by the doctor or dietitian.
- Encourage your child to participate in regular physical activity.
- Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors)
- Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs)
- Beta blockers
- Calcium channel blockers
- Encourage your child to eat a healthy diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- If your child is overweight, talk to the doctor about safe ways for your child reach a healthy weight.
- Encourage your child to participate in physical activity on a regular basis.
- Talk to your child about the dangers of smoking.
- Be a good role model for your child. For example, eat healthy food and participate in family physical activities.
- Limit the amount of time your child can spends in front of a screen. This includes watching TV, playing video games, or using the computer. Aim for less than two hours in front of a screen per day.
American Heart Association http://www.americanheart.org/
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/
Canadian Cardiovascular Society http://www.ccs.ca/home/index%5Fe.aspx/
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada http://www.heartandstroke.com/
Blood pressure levels for boys by age and height percentiles. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/hypertension/child%5Ftbl.pdf . Accessed June 19, 2012.
High blood pressure in children. American Academy of Pediatrics, Healthy Children.org website. Available at: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/heart/pages/High-Blood-Pressure-in-Children.aspx . Updated January 9, 2012. Accessed June 19, 2012.
High blood pressure in children. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/UnderstandYourRiskforHighBloodPressure/High-Blood-Pressure-in-Children%5FUCM%5F301868%5FArticle.jsp . Updated April 4, 2012. Accessed June 19, 2012.
Hypertension. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/ . Updated July 3, 2012. Accessed July 12, 2012.
Hypertension in children and adolescents: work in progress. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/ . Updated June 13, 2012. Accessed June 19, 2012.
Kellicker P, Schub T. Evidence-based care sheet: hypertension in children and adolescents. EBSCO Nursing Reference Center website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/pointOfCare/nrc-about . September 16, 2011. Accessed June 19, 2012.
NHLBI integrated guidelines for pediatric cardiovascular risk reduction. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/ . Updated February 28, 2012. Accessed June 19, 2012.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 07/2012
- Update Date: 07/13/2012