High Blood Pressure and Children - Even Kids Get Hypertension

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Most people don't realize that even young children can be affected by high blood pressure - in fact, it can happen to teenagers, toddlers, and even infants.
According to the American Heart Association, children as young as age 3 should start to have yearly tests to detect any signs of a problem.
To understand how hypertension can affect children - and why it might be a problem - it's important to understand what it is.
Blood pressure is a measurement of the amount of force being exerted on the walls of your blood vessels.
This measurement of force reveals how hard the heart has to work to keep your body supplied with blood.
Encouraging a normal blood pressure reading in children at a young age is very important.
When you teach your kids the value of developing good BP habits now, your kids will understand the importance of getting good BP readings as they grow up.
This could be one of the most important gifts you ever give to your kids.
Keep in mind, the primary reason more and more children are getting hypertension is a long list of harmful lifestyle choices they learn from their parents.
Because of poor nutritional habits and lack of exercise, obesity - the most common risk factor for high blood pressure - is at an all time high among our young people.
Obesity rates among teenagers have tripled in just one generation.
Some experts theorize that today's teenagers and "twenty-somethings" may be the first generation in a long time to enjoy a shorter average life span than their parents.
And the reason is the high obesity rate.
When kids are overweight, their heart must exert itself more to pump the blood to their organs and tissue.
The harder the heart works, the higher the force pressing against the inside walls of blood vessels.
Recent studies have revealed that approximately 1 in every 25-30 children under age six already have unusually high blood pressure.
This tells us that it's definitely not just a problem for grown ups.
There are estimates saying that approximately 60 million Americans over the age of six have high blood pressure.
Hypertension can typically be controlled when you know what to do about it - and - you decide to do what it takes.
The same rules apply to both adults and youngsters.
First, don't forget that there are rarely symptoms in kids or adults.
This is one of the reasons it's referred to as a "silent killer.
" If you don't have regular check ups, you won't know if there's a problem.
Also, keep in mind that when your child's high blood pressure isn't treated, it can lead to lead to health challenges later as organ function - especially the heart - begins to degrade.
A healthy blood pressure reading for a child would be around 110 to 120 systolic and 70 to 80 diastolic - which is approximately the same reading as a healthy adult.
It's possible for anyone to have a higher than normal blood pressure reading occasionally.
But if your child's readings are consistently above average for his or her age, it could be a symptoms that there is a problem.
Don't hesitate to have a discussion with your doctor about treatment options that will bring your child's blood pressure back within a normal range, and give him or her a better chance for a longer and healthier life.
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