What are normal blood pressure values in children? Blood pressure is the force with which blood is pumped out of the heart and presses against the walls of the blood vessels. High blood pressure (hypertension) occurs when the blood presses too hard against the walls of the arteries, while low blood pressure (hypotension) occurs when not enough blood is pushed through the body.
High blood pressure is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and often causes no symptoms. Very high blood pressure can at some point cause symptoms such as blurred vision, headache, shortness of breath, and mild chest pain. High blood pressure in a child is often treated by lifestyle changes, such as a healthy diet, sufficient exercise, and losing weight if you are overweight. Low blood pressure is often harmless unless the child suffers from symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, and fainting. Low blood pressure due to dehydration should be treated appropriately.
The measure of your blood pressure is millimeters of mercury (mmHg). Blood pressure readings have two numbers. For example, your child’s blood pressure could be 115/62. The first number is the systolic pressure, or upper pressure, which is the pressure created when the heart pumps blood into the arteries. The second number is diastolic pressure or negative pressure, which is the pressure in the arteries when the heart relaxes and refills with blood.
Measuring blood pressure
Blood pressure is (traditionally) measured by a doctor using a stethoscope and blood pressure monitor, which has a small pump that can be inflated with air and a rubber cuff that can be placed around the upper arm. The cuff is gradually inflated so that the blood flow in the arm is impeded a little more. Meanwhile, the doctor feels your pulse. The cuff quickly expresses so much pressure that your pulse can no longer be felt and at that moment the doctor reads the value on the pressure gauge: the upper pressure. When the doctor lets air out, the negative pressure can be read. By using a stethoscope, your doctor can find out your systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Factors That Can Affect a Child’s Normal Blood Pressure
What is considered normal blood pressure in children depends on several factors, such as height, age, and gender. The factor that carries the most weight in children is their height; taller children have a higher normal blood pressure than shorter children. Also, remember that it is normal for children’s blood pressure to change as they get older and taller.
Blood pressure values: normal values table for children
A child’s normal blood pressure varies, depending on how old and how tall a child is. Below are the three main categories that children fall into:
The mean upper limit for systolic blood pressure in children in this category will range from 104-116, depending on height and gender. The mean upper limit for diastolic blood pressure in children in this category will range from 63-74. The average blood pressure for boys and girls between the ages of 3 and 5 can be seen in the following table.
|3 Years – Normal Mean Systolic Pressure||Varies between 104-113||Varies between 104-110|
|3 Years – Normal Mean Diastolic Pressure||Varies between 63-67||Varies between 65-68|
|4 Years – Normal Mean Systolic Pressure||Varies between 106-115||Varies between 105-111|
|4 Years – Normal Mean Diastolic Pressure||Varies between 66-71||Varies between 67-71|
|5 Years – Normal Mean Systolic Pressure||Varies between 108-116||Varies between 107-113|
|5 Years – Normal Mean Diastolic Pressure||Varies between 69-74||Varies between 69-73|
The mean upper limit for systolic blood pressure will range from 108-121 in this age group. The mean upper limit for diastolic blood pressure in children in this category will range from 71-81. The mean blood pressure for boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 9 can be seen in the following table.
|6 years – Normal mean systolic pressure||Varies between 109-117||Varies between 108-114|
|6 years – Normal mean diastolic pressure||Varies between 72-76||Varies between 71-75|
|7 Years – Normal Mean Systolic Pressure||Varies between 110-119||Varies between 110-116|
|7 Years – Normal Mean Diastolic Pressure||Varies between 74-78||Varies between 73-76|
|8 Years – Normal Mean Systolic Pressure||Varies between 111-120||Varies between 112-118|
|8 Years – Normal Mean Diastolic Pressure||Varies between 75-80||Varies between 74-78|
|9 Years – Normal Mean Systolic Pressure||Varies between 113-121||Varies between 114-120|
|9 Years – Normal Mean Diastolic Pressure||Varies between 76-81||Varies between 75-79|
The mean upper limit for systolic blood pressure in children in this category will range from 114-127. The mean upper limit for diastolic blood pressure in children in this category will range from 77-83. The mean blood pressure for boys and girls between the ages of 10 and 12 can be seen in the following table.
|10 Years – Normal Mean Systolic Pressure||Varies between 114-123||Varies between 116-122|
|10 Years – Normal Mean Diastolic Pressure||Varies between 77-82||Varies between 77-80|
|11 years – Normal mean systolic pressure||Varies between 116-125||Varies between 118-124|
|11 Years – Normal Mean Diastolic Pressure||Varies between 78-83||Varies between 78-83|
|12 Years – Normal Mean Systolic Pressure||Varies between 119-127||Varies between 120-126|
|12 years – Normal mean diastolic pressure||Varies between 79-83||Varies between 79-82|
High blood pressure in children
If the results are not in the normal blood pressure range, as shown in the table above, the child may have either high or low blood pressure. Unlike adults, high blood pressure is more difficult to diagnose in children. In adults with a blood pressure above 140/90, we speak of high blood pressure.
However, it doesn’t work that way with children. In general, children with blood pressure higher than 95% of children of the same sex, age, and height are diagnosed with high blood pressure. Since children’s blood pressure will vary widely based on many factors as they grow up, there is no particular range that is used in adults ( adult blood pressure readings ).
Younger children who have hypertension will often suffer from a larger, underlying problem such as heart defects or kidney disease. High blood pressure in older children is usually the result of obesity, type 2 diabetes, or an inactive lifestyle. The main risk factors for high blood pressure in children are obesity ( overweight ) and a family history of high blood pressure. Other risk factors can include medical problems such as sleep apnea or other sleep disorders. Obesity is considered the main risk for high blood pressure in children. Not only does obesity put your child at risk for high blood pressure, but also for a range of other health problems such as heart disease and …diabetes.
What Causes Obesity?
Sometimes obesity can be linked to other health problems. However, in most cases, obesity is due to the combination of two factors:
- Eating too much. Many children eat more food than their bodies need. Obesity can also result from the child ingesting too many wrong foods, such as unhealthy snacks and sugary drinks. For that reason, it’s important to monitor both the quality and amount of food your child eats.
- Too little movement. Many children do not get enough exercise and spend hours each day doing activities that involve just sitting or hanging out, such as watching television or playing video games.
High blood pressure often has no manifest symptoms until it is too late. Hypertension is not called a silent killer for anything. If it becomes a serious problem, the child may complain of blurred vision, headache, shortness of breath, and mild chest pain.
If a child suffers from high blood pressure, lifestyle changes should be made, including a change in diet and an increase in exercise. Making sure your child eats a healthy diet with plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains on a daily basis, as well as keeping him or her away from high-calorie, low-nutrient foods, will already put you on the right track to lower your child’s high blood pressure. Another thing to watch out for if your child has high blood pressure is his or her sodium intake.
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According to the Nutrition Center, all adults are advised not to consume more than 6 grams of salt per day. This is equivalent to 2.4 grams of sodium. For children, it is much less. Make sure this is no more than 1200 mg for children ages 4-8 and no more than 1500 for children over 8 years old. More exercise is also extremely important; anything from bike rides to daily walks can get the heart pumping properly and lower blood pressure.
Low blood pressure in children
Low blood pressure (hypotension) can occur in children for a variety of reasons.
You can have low blood pressure without even noticing it. The symptoms that can occur with low blood pressure are dizziness, fatigue, blurred vision, and fainting.
In many cases, there is no obvious cause of low blood pressure. It is more common in certain situations:
- Blood loss, for example as a result of heavy menstrual periods or bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract.
- Fluid loss due to dehydration due to fever with vomiting and diarrhea, or severe burns.
- Gastrointestinal infections with symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea.
- Some medications can seriously affect your blood vessels and possibly cause low blood pressure.
Make sure that the child drinks enough in case of a gastrointestinal infection where there is a lot of fluid loss with vomiting and diarrhea. If necessary, use ORS, a mixture of salts and dextrose that you have to dissolve in water, available at drugstores and pharmacies. Read the package leaflet before use. Make sure your child drinks enough and set a good example yourself. Your child loses a lot of fluid and salt as a result of sweating, especially in hot weather and during exercise. It is important that the child takes sufficient fluid and salt under these circumstances.