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What Is Considered High Blood Pressure For A Child

Who Is At Risk For Developing High Blood Pressure

The Normal Blood Pressure For Kids And Childers – The Normal Blood Pressure For Kids And Childers
  • Primary hypertension is the most common cause of high blood pressure in adolescents and adults, but is less common in children.

  • Many children with high blood pressure also have adult relatives with hypertension, so there may be a hereditary aspect to the disease.

  • There is a higher incidence of high blood pressure in African-American children after the age of 12 and into adulthood.

Blood Pressure Reading Chart

Below is a blood pressure reading chart for you.

*Remember that the larger figure in your reading represents the systolic value the smaller figure represents your diastolic value. Systolic is the measurement of pressure when the heart is beating. Diastolic is the measurement of pressure when the heart is resting.

What Can Parents Do

Ask your doctor to measure your childs blood pressure starting at age 3. Helping children keep a healthy weight, eat nutritious foods, and get regular physical activity can lower their blood pressure and reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease later in life. Try these tips to help your child keep a healthy weight and normal blood pressure:

Food and Drinks

Physical Activity

Healthy Weight

Get Involved

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Does Normal Blood Pressure Change With Age

Just as our blood pressure readings change according to our posture, sleep time, and stress levels throughout the day, our blood pressure changes as we age. Despite the fluctuating or changing measurements, we should maintain a normal range. As we age, we can expect changes in our cardiovascular health, including our blood pressure and cholesterol levels. There are several factors that reflect our blood pressure levels over the years, including normal blood pressure for seniors.

Normal Bp In Children Chart

High Blood Pressure
104/63 mm/hg to 113/67 mm/hg 104/65 mm/hg to 110/68 mm/hg
4 years old 106/66 mm/hg to 115/71 mm/hg 105/67 mm/hg to 111/71 mm/hg
5 years old 108/69 mm/hg to 116/74 mm/hg 107/69 mm/hg to 113/73 mm/hg

For Children aging 6 to 9 years old :

The ideal blood pressure for kids aging 6 to 9 years old is 108/71 to 121/81 mm/hg. Same as for adults, this can vary depending on the BMI or body mass index of the kid, as well as gender.

109/72 mm/hg to 117/76 mm/hg 108/71 mm/hg to 114/75 mm/hg
7 years old 110/74 mm/hg to 119/78 mm/hg 110/73 mm/hg to 116/76 mm/hg
8 years old 113/76 mm/hg to 121/81 mm/hg 114/75 mm/hg to 120/79 mm/hg

BP Chart for Children aging 10 to 12 years old :

The normal BP for children aged 10-12 years old is 114/77 to 127/83 mm/hg. Still depending on the height, weight, and gender, these rates may differ from each other.

114/77 mm/hg to 123/82 mm/hg 116/77 mm/hg to 122/80 mm/hg
11 years old 116/78 mm/hg to 125/83 mm/hg 118/78 mm/hg to 124/83 mm/hg
12 years old 120/80 mm/hg to 127/83 mm/hg 120/79 mm/hg to 126/82 mm/hg

These are the normal blood pressure ranges in children of these ages. Just like adults, to maintain the normal rate of bp, kids must stay in shape. Their diet and activities should be monitored so that they do not become obese. Obesity, even in kids, can result in hypertension.

A normal blood pressure in children is as important as in adults. We need to monitor them regularly for signs of abnormality and maintain a healthy heart, as well.

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High Blood Pressure In Children And Adolescents

Am Fam Physician. 2018 Oct 15 98:486-494.

High blood pressure in children and adolescents is a growing health problem, along with the worldwide epidemics of obesity and physical inactivity. The combined prevalence of elevated blood pressure and hypertension in children is around 6%, or 3% for each.1,2 The combined prevalence increases by nearly five times, to around 30%, in adolescents who are obese.2 High blood pressure in childhood is correlated with higher blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease in adulthood, and this relationship strengthens with age.3 Primary hypertension in children is associated with other risk factors for CVD, including hyperlipidemia and insulin resistance.4 Children also experience target organ damage from hypertension, including left ventricular hypertrophy and pathologic vascular changes .5,6


Normal and elevated blood pressures for children one to 12 years of age are based on the normative distribution of blood pressures in healthy children of normal weight and should be interpreted on the basis of sex, age, and height. For adolescents 13 years and older, elevated blood pressure is now defined by the absolute value of 120 to 129 mm Hg systolic and < 80 mm Hg diastolic, and hypertension as 130/80 mm Hg.

Primary hypertension, rather than secondary hypertension, now accounts for most cases of childhood hypertension.



What Causes High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is classified as “primary,” or without a definite cause, and “secondary,” or related to an illness or behavior.

Factors that seem to contribute to primary hypertension in adults, and possibly in children, include the following:

  • High blood cholesterol levels

  • Smoking

Secondary causes of hypertension in children include the following:

  • Illnesses. The kidneys play an important role in regulating blood pressure, and often have diminished ability to perform this vital task when they are diseased. A congenital heart defect called coarctation of the aorta may also cause high blood pressure readings. Head injury may raise the pressure inside the brain, which affects the body’s ability to regulate blood pressure normally.

  • Use of prescription or illegal recreational drugs

  • Obesity

  • Immobility

  • Severe pain

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What Do Blood Pressure Numbers Mean

Blood pressure is measured using two numbers:

The first number, called systolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats.

The second number, called diastolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests between beats.

If the measurement reads 120 systolic and 80 diastolic, you would say, 120 over 80, or write, 120/80 mmHg.

What Causes High Blood Pressure In Children

Infant Medical Care : Signs of High Blood Pressure in Infants

High blood pressure is classified based on the cause. The types of high blood pressure are:

  • Primary or essential hypertension: High blood pressure with no known cause
  • Secondary hypertension: High blood pressure caused by an inherited or underlying condition

In children, causes of secondary hypertension include:

  • Being overweight
  • Were born prematurely or had a low birth weight

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How To Help Your Child With High Blood Pressure

Help your child control high blood pressure by following the doctor’s plan carefully. In addition, you can take these steps.

  • Make changes to diet and exercise a family affair. Everyone in the family will benefit from these healthy changes.
  • Make sure your child has their blood pressure checked as often as recommended by your child’s doctor.

By working with your health specialist to develop a comprehensive health plan, you can help your child control high blood pressure — and enjoy many healthy years ahead.

American Academy of Family Physicians. “High Blood Pressure: Things You Can Do to Help Lower Yours.”

Mayo Clinic: “High blood pressure and children: Watch your child’s weight.”

Mayo Clinic: “How being black affects your blood pressure: A healthy lifestyle is important regardless of skin color.”

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “The Fourth Report on the Diagnosis, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure in Children and Adolescents.”

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “Your Guide to Lowering High Blood Pressure: What Are High Blood Pressure and Prehypertension?” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity: Overweight in Children and Adolescents.”

WebMD Medical Reference: “High Blood Pressure ,” “How adrenaline regulates blood pressure.”

Why Is High Blood Pressure A Concern

High blood pressure, or hypertension, directly increases the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke . With high blood pressure, the arteries may have an increased resistance against the flow of blood, causing the heart to pump harder to circulate the blood.

Heart attack and stroke related to high blood pressure are rare in children and adolescents. Yet, studies of young adults with high blood pressure found that many had high blood pressure as a child. By their 20s, studies show that children and adolescents with high blood pressure will exhibit harmful effects on the heart and blood vessels even with mild hypertension.

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Causes Of Low Blood Pressure In Children

Some of the common causes that affect children are mentioned below.

  • Dehydration: When there is an excess loss of water from the body, it causes dehydration. Low blood pressure can be one of the several symptoms of mild to severe dehydration in children .
  • Allergies: An allergy occurs when the immune system mounts an attack on a usually harmless allergen. A severe allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis. This condition could lead to low blood pressure .
  • Infections: Hypotension may happen in cases of severe infection.
  • Iron deficiency anemia: A low blood pressure could be one of the several symptoms of iron deficiency anemia among children . Hypotension is likely to be among the symptoms that occur when the anemia becomes severe.
  • Heart problem: A fall in blood pressure could be a symptom of heart failure or other heart-related issues among children. Some other symptoms include trouble breathing, excessive sweating, and poor development .
  • Injury or trauma: An injury can lead to external or internal blood loss, which may cause a drop in blood pressure. Low blood pressure is often among the many symptoms of a severe abdominal injury, which causes internal bleeding .
  • Nutritional deficiencies and metabolic problems: A deficiency in nutrients, like folic acid and vitamin B12, may cause hypotension. Problems in the endocrine system may also be a reason .
  • Sometimes, it is difficult to figure out that the blood pressure of the child is low. But knowing the symptoms may help.

    How Is High Blood Pressure In Children Treated

    Pin on Blood Pressure

    It is important to diagnose and treat high blood pressure in children early to avoid complications. Treatment for high blood pressure depends on the child and the cause, if known. Sometimes the condition can be managed by treating the underlying disorder that is causing it.

    In most cases, doctors first recommend lifestyle changes to treat high blood pressure in children. The doctor may ask you to help your child make these lifestyle changes, including:

    • Eating a healthy diet, including plenty of fruits and vegetables
    • Increasing physical activity
    • Losing weight
    • Limiting processed and canned foods to help reduce the amount of salt and sugar your child consumes

    If lifestyle changes do not lower your childs blood pressure, the doctor may refer your child to a specialist or recommend medication to manage the condition. These medications are used to treat high blood pressure in children:

    • Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, to relax the blood vessels and make it easier for blood to flow
    • Angiotensin II receptor blockers, to block the effects of a chemical in the blood that constricts blood vessels
    • Calcium channel blockers, to relax blood vessels and increase blood supply to the heart
    • Beta blockers, to block the effects of adrenaline and lower the heart rate, which lowers blood pressure
    • Diuretics, to rid the body of excess fluids and waste

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    Whats Up With Kids Blood Pressure

    We dont usually think of blood pressure as a matter of concern during childhood and for most kids, its not. But blood pressure is an important vital sign and one that your childs physician should be taking at every check-up.

    Babies blood pressure measurements are taken at birth as part of routine newborn screenings. After that, expert guidelines, including those of the American Academy of Pediatrics , call for measurements to be taken at well-child visits and sick visits in the pediatricians office, starting at age 3.

    Heart Troubles Ahead For Many Youngsters

    To see if this redefining of high blood pressure could help spot children at greater risk of heart disease, scientists reviewed health records of 3,940 children who were followed over the course of 36 years as part of the Bogalusa Heart Study. The youngsters ranged in age from 3 to 18 47 percent were male and 35 percent were African-American.

    Researchers found that 11 percent of the participants would be considered to have high blood pressure under the new guidelines compared with 7 percent under the old standards. The study authors also observed similar associations with developing adulthood hypertension and metabolic syndrome.

    Of those with high blood pressure according to the 2017 measures, 19 percent developed a thickening of the heart muscle during the follow-up period, compared with 12 percent when high blood pressure followed the 2004 guidelines.

    We think that chronic effect of having high blood pressure over time is what ultimately does damage to the heart and blood vessels, says Stephen Daniels, MD, professor and chair of the department of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and a pediatrician-in-chief at Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora. The new guidelines are reassuring because they are helping us find those kids who need the most attention.

    High blood pressure turns out to be not uncommon in the pediatric age range, says Dr. Daniels, who was not involved in this study.

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    What Questions Might I Be Asked In The Emergency Room

    Your healthcare provider will interview you when you enter the emergency room. Do your best to prepare yourself to answer the following questions, and more, that your healthcare provider may ask.

    • What medications are you on?
    • Did you forget your blood pressure medication?
    • What symptoms do you have?
    • How long have you had these symptoms?

    If youre unable to check your blood pressure, but think it might be high, dont hesitate to call 911 or go to the emergency room.

    Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/14/2021.


    What Is High Blood Pressure

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    High blood pressure means that there is higher than normal pressure inside the arteries either during systole , or during diastole .

    • If the pressure is high during the pumping phase , then the first number recorded with a blood pressure reading will be high.

    • If the pressure is high during the relaxation phase , then the second number recorded will be high.

    High blood pressure is also called hypertension.

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    What Is Pediatric Low Blood Pressure

    Normal blood pressure is between 90/60 and 130/80.

    • The top number, or systolic pressure, is a measurement of the pressure in the arteries when the heart muscle contracts.
    • The bottom number, or diastolic pressure, is a measurement of the pressure in the arteries between beats of the heart.

    Hypotension, or low blood pressure, happens when your childs blood pressure falls below the normal range. A drop in blood pressure is not always a cause for concern, and the severity of the situation depends on the cause.

    How Is Preeclampsia Diagnosed

    Your health care provider will check your blood pressure and urine at each prenatal visit. If your blood pressure reading is high , especially after the 20th week of pregnancy, your provider will likely want to run some tests. They may include blood tests other lab tests to look for extra protein in the urine as well as other symptoms.

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    High Blood Pressure In Pregnant Women

    High blood pressure can also occur during pregnancy. Readings higher than 140 systolic or 90 diastolic is considered high. Normal blood pressure during pregnancy is less than 120 systolic and less than 80 diastolic. About 8 percent of women develop some form of hypertension while pregnant, says the .

    There are two main categories of high blood pressure in pregnancy:

    • Chronic hypertension:This is when blood pressure is high before a woman becomes pregnant or when high blood pressure develops before 20 weeks of pregnancy.
    • Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy: These types of high blood pressure problems are specific to pregnant women and typically develop after 20 weeks of pregnancy. These types of problems typically disappear after a woman gives birth.

    Your doctor may prescribe medications if you have high blood pressure during pregnancy.

    How Is High Blood Pressure In Children Diagnosed

    What are the Symptoms of High Blood Pressure?

    High blood pressure in children is diagnosed with a blood pressure reading. Most children should have their blood pressure taken at each well care visit and some other problem based visits.

    To check blood pressure, a healthcare provider wraps a cuff called a sphygmomanometer on the patients arm and places a stethoscope underneath it. The provider pumps the cuff full of air and then takes the reading as the air leaves the cuff.

    The blood pressure reading consists of two separate measurements the provider reads together:

    • Systolic blood pressure: The top number in a blood pressure reading, which measures pressure in the blood vessels when the heart pushes blood out to the body.
    • Diastolic blood pressure: The bottom number in the reading, which measures pressure in the blood vessels when the heart rests between beats.

    The readings are compared with those in the normal range for a child of the same age, weight, and height. High blood pressure is usually diagnosed when the pressure levels are higher than the 95th percentile when measured during several visits.

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