High Blood Pressure in Children

It is a typical understanding that hypertension or hypertension impacts older individuals. The truth is that high blood pressure can impact people of any age. It is frequently noted in younger age groups and nowadays the incidence of hypertension in children is on the rise.

If not dealt with correctly, hypertension can damage vital organs like eyes, kidneys, heart and brain. With early detection and ideal management, this damage can be avoided and kids with hypertension can lead a normal and active life. 

What Counts as High Blood Pressure in Children?

Hypertension generally has no certain symptoms and the only method to learn if it exists is to get it inspected regularly. The same holds true for children, and the high blood pressure of all kids aged 3 and above must be regularly inspected.

Normal adult high blood pressure values are figured out and it is simple to interpret and compare the outcomes with the basic levels. However, the scenario is not that basic with children.

A child is detected with hypertension when the high blood pressure is greater than 95th percentile of children of the exact same age, gender and height. Usually, 3 readings are taken before reaching a medical diagnosis, as the first reading can be higher because of fear or stress and anxiety associated with doctor’s check out. Constant ambulatory BP monitoring is used to decrease this stress and get accurate readings. During this procedure the child needs to wear a BP cuff all day, and high blood pressure readings are taken numerous times.

What Causes Hypertension in Children?

Obesity

The most typical cause of hypertension in kids is weight problems. At the age of 7, half of the kids with hypertension are overweight, and 85-95% of teenagers with high blood pressures fall under this classification. Together with hypertension, weight problems is likewise related to other serious medical problems like diabetes and heart problem.

Underlying Medical Issues

Sometimes hypertension arises from an underlying medical issue like kidney or heart disease. This is called secondary hypertension and when the cause is alleviated, the blood pressure returns to typical.

Side Effects of Medicines

Some medicines are understood to cause elevated blood pressure, and if the child is on any of them, the blood pressure readings can be high. It is also an example of secondary hypertension and the high blood pressure returns back to regular when the causative drug is ceased.

Genetic Factors

There is often no definitive cause for necessary or primary hypertension. This kind of hypertension is more typical in children with a household history of hypertension or of African-American origin.

How Is High Blood Pressure in Children Treated?

Lifestyle Changes

  • View the weight: Obesity is the most common cause of hypertension in children and it is exceptionally important to shed the additional pounds for better blood pressure control.
  • Get active: 60-90 minutes of exercise is essential for children every day, encourage them to be active and limit the time they spent sitting in front of TELEVISION or computer system screens.
  • Eat right: Try to switch the sweet cereals and white bread with entire grain alternatives and provide them a lot of fresh vegetables and fruit.
  • Cut down on salt: The suggested daily allowance of salt for kids is 1.2 grams for the age 4-8 years, and 1.5 grams for older children. Add less salt while cooking and carefully check out the labels on processed food to examine how much salt they include.
  • Stock and store sensibly: Kids normally munch on whatever is available at home, so aim to go shopping and stock healthy choices.
  • Involve the household: Kids need a great deal of assistance to handle any sort of medical issue. Aim to encourage everyone at home to be helpful and adopt a healthy lifestyle.

You can manage your child’s high blood pressure successfully by strictly following the treatment strategy recommended by your doctor and getting the high blood pressure monitored frequently. With a healthy diet, active lifestyle and proper tracking, complications can be avoided and the child can lead a healthy and happy life.

Medication

Medications are usually not prescribed for mild hypertension in children. Usually, lifestyle adjustments, losing extra weight and treatment of any underlying condition can provide correct control. Nevertheless, if these procedures are not effective, the child might need to be on medication. The duration of treatment can differ and medications may be needed for a short while or for an indefinite amount of time.

The most commonly used medications to treat hypertension in children include:

  • Diuretics: These get rid of additional fluid and salt from the body, resulting in lowering of blood pressure.
  • ACE inhibitors, alpha blockers and calcium channel blockers: These keep the capillary dilated, resulting in better blood circulation and reduced high blood pressure.
  • Beta blockers: Medicines coming from this group counter the effects of adrenaline, which is a stress hormone and is responsible for a faster heart rate. Clog of these impacts results in lowering of heart rate and blood pressure.

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