High Blood Pressure and Children

High blood pressure doesn’t just affect adults. Children and teens can also be diagnosed with this condition, and it needs to be treated promptly.

Causes of High Blood Pressure in Children

A child who has been diagnosed with kidney or heart disease may develop high blood pressure. Once the underlying cause has been treated effectively, the young person’s blood pressure will probably return to normal. Some medications can also cause high blood pressure; if this is the cause of the problem, changing or discontinuing the medication should help to bring the level down to the normal range.

In some cases, the underlying cause of high blood pressure in children is harder to detect. Children who come from families with a history of high blood pressure may be at risk. Being overweight or obese can also put a child at increased risk.

Treatment for High Blood Pressure in Children

Once high blood pressure has been diagnosed, the treatment options are similar to those used in adults. A change in the child’s eating habits so that they are following a heart-healthy diet will help to bring the blood pressure reading down. Increasing the child’s level of physical activity is another strategy that can bring down blood pressure to a healthier level.

Obesity and High Blood Pressure in Teens

When a teenager is obese and has high blood pressure, he or she may be at risk for having thicker arteries by the age of 30. When fat builds up in the walls of the arteries, it puts the individual at a higher level of risk for heart disease and stroke.

A parent who is concerned about high blood pressure in children should discuss the issue with the family doctor or pediatrician. The doctor can suggest a treatment plan to get the blood pressure down to a healthier level.