High Blood Pressure in Children: Why It Is On the Rise and How You Can Protect Your Child

 


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Although you may find it surprising that Cold and flu medication can increase blood pressure, you may be even more surprised to learn that high blood pressure is becoming more and more common among children. In fact, it is estimated that nearly 5% of American children suffer from hypertension.

Why do so many children suffer from high blood pressure? There are different reasons such as:

  • Birth complications – babies who have high blood pressure are often born premature or have problems with their heart or kidneys

  • Heredity – There is a history of high blood pressure in the family

  • Unhealthy lifestyle – Many children live a sedentary lifestyle and eat poor diets, causing them to become overweight and experience unnatural stress.

    An unhealthy lifestyle is the leading cause of high blood pressure in children. Many children have become obese from eating a diet rich in high fatty processed foods, and consuming high sugar and caffeinated beverages such as soda. Furthermore, children of today are much more content sitting in front of a TV or computer for hours on end.

    Due to the fact that they are consuming too much fat and are failing to burn it off, this creates many health problems including high blood pressure, which can lead to heart failure, kidney disease, cardiovascular disease and diabetes in children.

    Like adults, children should have their blood pressure checked on a regular basis, starting at the age of 3. Regular blood pressure checks will be different depending on the health of the child in question. If you discover that your child’s blood pressure is higher than normal, they should have their blood pressure checked again in 6 months.

    It is imperative that you have your child’s blood pressure monitored regularly, because if it is not checked and he or she has hypertension, you will be oblivious to the condition until your child begins to exhibit the signs and symptoms including visual problems, dizziness, headaches, fatigue and shortness of breath. Usually by the time these sings become present, the child is suffering from a sever case of high blood pressure.

    How can hypertension be prevented in children? Aside from taking your child for regular blood pressure checkups, you can help them maintain a healthy blood pressure level and prevent hypertension, even if the condition is hereditary, by –

  • Providing a healthy diet – Limit processed and high fat foods, as well as sugar and caffeinated beverages. Make sure your child is receiving plenty of water and the necessary portions of foods that contain the essential nutrients they need to help them grow and stay healthy.

  • Encouraging exercise – Make sure your child exercises every day by bicycling, running, swimming, dancing, engaging in sports, etc.

  • Reducing their exposure to secondhand smoke – If you or anyone in your home smokes, it’s time to quit. Frequently exposing your child to the nicotine in second hand smoke increases their blood pressure.

    Essentially, ensuring that your child lives a healthy lifestyle also means adopting a healthy lifestyle yourself. You can’t expect your child to make healthy choices without your guidance. You are their role model.

    Finally, remember that even if your child is overweight but doesn’t have high blood pressure, it is still imperative that you do everything you can to help them attain their ideal weight by ensuring better eating habits and exercise. The reason is because children who are overweight have a dramatically higher risk of developing high blood pressure and dangerous health complications such as heart disease, heart attack and stroke when they become overweight adults.

    Paul Johnson has an interest in High Blood Pressure. For further information on High Blood Pressure please visit High Blood Pressure or High Blood Pressure Symptoms .

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