High Blood Pressure

Children And High Bp - A Growing Problem

If you thought that the problem of high blood pressure is restricted to just adults then you are highly mistaken. The problem of high blood pressure can exist in children too. However, the problem of hypertension in children is different from high blood pressure in adults.

Causes
The problem of high blood pressure in children is not a common condition. However, of late more number of children have been diagnosed with high blood pressure.  In most cases, only children with some medical problem suffer from hypertension.

Risk factors
The presence of one or more following factors can lead to presence of hypertension in children.

* Obesity
* Lack of exercise
* Family history of high blood pressure

Diagnosis
The only way to diagnose if your child is suffering from high blood pressure or not is to get the blood pressure checked. Typically, children below 3 years of age do not need to monitor their blood pressure levels. Children who are above three years of age need to get their blood pressure levels monitored at regular intervals. Also, if the child is suffering from health problems that pertain to the heart, liver or kidney, he/she may need to get regular blood pressure checks.

After multiple blood pressure readings of the child are taken, an average blood pressure is calculated using various statistical methods. This average blood pressure is compared to numerous charts. These blood pressure charts for children show the general blood pressure levels of children who have the same age, height and weight. It is based on these comparisons, that the doctor evaluates whether your child is suffering from hypertension or not.

Treatment
When it comes to treating high blood pressure levels in children there are several choices. The choice of treatment usually depends upon the blood pressure readings and also prevalence of other medical conditions.

Typically, lifestyle changes are taken as the first line of treatment. The child is advised to follow a healthy diet along with indulging in sufficient physical activity. In most cases, the blood pressure can be controlled with suitable lifestyle changes itself.

However, in some cases the use of appropriate blood pressure lowering drugs may become inevitable. Blood pressure medications that are administered to adults are also given to children but in small doses. There is no specific medication for treating high blood pressure in children. Further on, there is also no such medication that needs to be avoided in children.

Blood pressure in any case is a risky condition. So, it is only wise that you take preventive measures to avoid the problem in children. Encourage your child to follow a healthy lifestyle and go for frequent blood pressure checks.