High Blood Pressure in Children
High blood pressure is a blood pressure measurement that is higher than normal. Blood pressure is the force of blood on the blood vessel walls. It is measured as two numbers, for example 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mmHg). These two numbers stand for:
- Systolic pressure (the higher number)—the pressure inside of the arteries during each heart beat
- Diastolic pressure (the lower number)—the pressure inside of the arteries in between each heart beat
For adults, 120/80 mmHg is considered a normal reading. Children’s blood pressure readings are lower than adults. Their blood pressure is based on a child’s gender, age, and height. This means that what is considered normal or high blood pressure changes as your child grows.
Organs Impacted by High Blood Pressure
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Blood pressure can be split into two categories:
- Essential (or primary)—The cause is not known.
- Secondary—The cause is related to another condition. This may include kidney disease or heart disease.
Last reviewedJuly 2012by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.