There was a news clip about a year ago addressing the problem of high blood pressure in children and young adults. Because it can cause so many serious issues it's important to understand that yes, children can have this medical condition.
Obesity : This is the main reason children may develop hypertension. The good news is that it can be managed mainly by lifestyle changes. That does not mean medication is out of the picture. It may be needed for a time to keep the numbers at the appropriate level.
Diseases : While HBP can cause kidney and heart disease, these conditions may cause them themselves. It works both ways. This will probably mean more than just changing the diet and exercising more. The pediatrician can help understand the condition and what parents can do about it.
Race and Family History : African-American children have a higher chance of developing hypertensive in childhood than any other race. The reason for this is unclear. Children with a family history of the condition are also more likely to develop it.
Caffeine and Energy Drinks : When children get old enough to purchase beverages on their own, they sometimes go for those containing sugar, caffeine and other substances that boost energy. Sometimes it's to feel the effects and at other times it is to avoid sleep or sleepiness. Stopping the overuse of these beverages will help bring the numbers under control.
Dehydration : Whether it's a stomach virus or being physically active children can get dehydrated quickly. Dehydration can cause a rise in blood pressure. While it is considered a spike, chronic dehydration could create serious problems.
How To Find Out : Children do not use the same scale as adults. Their numbers are figured by age, height and weight. The best way to make sure the statements are correct is regular visits to the pediatrician.
Depending on risk factors, readings can begin as early as two years of age. This gives a base line as well as helps monitor the changes as the child grows. The pediatrician may ask you to purchase a kit and give you instructions on what to look for. The kits are relatively inexpensive. Some are as low as $ 15.
The important thing to know is that this can be a threat to our children. Even if they are a healthy weight, the issue can come up. This is as important for the child's wellbeing as vaccinations.