When the heart pumps, it creates blood pressure, which is the force exerted by blood against the arteries walls to circulate blood throughout the body. In general, two numbers are recorded - systolic pressure, which is the highest pressure that occurs when the heart contracts while pumping the blood, and diastolic pressure, the lowest pressure, occurs when the heart relaxes to fill in with blood. 

Hypertension occurs when the blood pressure is too high. It causes the heart to work harder and damage the arteries. Many things are responsible for blood pressure fluctuation. Physical activities, for instance, running, jumping, or exercising, cause blood pressure to rise. Tall children are prone to high blood pressure than children with short heights. Obesity is another leading cause of hypertension in children. Emotions may also affect blood pressure - nervousness, anxiety, and anger - to name a few. 

As the blood pressure fluctuates throughout the day, parents are advised to keep pediatric blood pressure kits at home to keep track of it. Since a single high blood pressure reading doesn’t mean hypertension in a child, it’s best to get in touch with a pediatrician who checks fluctuation blood pressure for a few weeks. If they notice the blood pressure always remains high, they recommend a few things, like:

Maintaining a healthy diet - Eating plenty of green vegetables and fruits is crucial for keeping a healthy body. Besides limiting foods with added sugar and saturated fats, it’s recommended to control salt intake. The body retains more fluids when the salt intake is low. 

Physical activities and exercises - Staying active throughout the day is a must for a child with hypertension. Parents should encourage their children to stay more active and limit the passive activity to a couple of hours a day. 

Keeping blood pressure in check - Premature children or those born with kidney problems are at high risk of developing hypertension. Parents should keep their child’s blood pressure in check with pediatric blood pressure kits. They should also stay in touch with their healthcare provider to prevent severe health complications. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises blood pressure screenings of children older than three years every year. If your child takes medicine to increase blood pressure, has diabetes or kidney disease, or obese, it’s recommended to use pediatric blood pressure kits to record their blood pressure. Besides, encourage your child to stay active and eat healthy food. 

Author’s Bio – The author is an online blogger. This article is about childhood hypertension