Parenting 101 For Kids With High Blood Pressure
When someone tells us they suffer from high blood pressure, we automatically think that they are physically inactive, or that they’re older or have weight-related issues. However, nowadays, we can witness that school-age children suffer from hypertension too.
If you look at this problem in more detail, you’ll come to understand that it can occur at any age. Fortunately, the number of children with high blood pressure is still very small but parents need to pay attention and prevent it from going unnoticed.
High blood pressure in adolescents is linked to health problems later in life. It’s a progressive disease, which means that blood pressure rises over time and the body’s system to counteract the rise in blood pressure deteriorates. The risk of suffering from serious complications such as heart attack, stroke, or heart failure also increases as time passes by.
The good news is that you can both help prevent the development of high blood pressure and manage it effectively if necessary. In this post, we share a parenting guide for kids with high blood pressure that will help your child grow into a healthy adult.
Most Common Signs and Symptoms
If your pediatrician believes your child suffers from hypertension, they may conduct several routine tests and examinations. The best method is to take the child’s blood pressure with a blood pressure monitor. The doctor may prescribe medications such as Amlodipine, but remember to never give your child any medication without first consulting a health professional.
High blood pressure presents no visible problems, making it a difficult condition to notice. However, some symptoms like dizziness after performing physical activities, constant headache, difficulty breathing deeply, constant fatigue, blurred vision, or confusion can be indicators of high blood pressure.
High Blood Pressure is a Warning Sign
There are two types of blood pressure; one that reaches increased intensity when the heart pumps blood to the whole body, also known as systolic pressure, or upper blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure, or lower pressure, that is, when the heart calms down to take in blood between heartbeats.
Researchers are still trying to understand what the cause for high blood pressure in children is, and, in most cases, except for those directly related to obesity, they cannot pinpoint a specific one. This is the reason why it’s so challenging to diagnose high blood pressure.
What is clear is that when hypertension becomes a problem, it’s usually a warning sign of another serious health problem. It may be a sign of kidney disease, heart failure, or problems with the nervous or endocrine systems.
High blood pressure develops as people grow older. This is why a child may suffer from high blood pressure but not display any other symptoms. And this is bad as their condition may gradually get worse.
Recommendations for Treating High Blood Pressure
If your child has high blood pressure, introducing a healthy diet with lots of fresh fruits, veggies, and low-fat dairy may help them the most and benefit their overall health.
As a parent, you should make sure to pay attention to their salt intake and limit it if necessary. Don’t place salty biscuits and snacks on the table and check how much salt you add to and on the food. By monitoring your child’s salt intake, you can help reduce mild hypertension.
The chances for an overweight child to have other health issues on top of high blood pressure are greater. To prevent this, support them to create healthy eating and exercise habits as they’re crucial to strong growth and development.
Setting up an exercise routine will also almost certainly be a piece of advice you’ll receive from your pediatrician. Physical activity helps regulate blood pressure and that is why a moderate-intensity exercise routine can help children with high blood pressure.
Prevention is Possible
It’s very important to identify high blood pressure at an early stage. Nowadays, it’s recommended to begin routine blood pressure measurement at 3 years of age. This is especially necessary for children who’re born prematurely or who have a low birth weight.
Parents must know that they must take care of the condition immediately as ignoring or neglecting it will only make it worse over the years.
As we mentioned before, high blood pressure can cause heart failure or stroke in adulthood. In addition, prolonged high blood pressure can cause changes in the walls of blood vessels and even cause damage to the kidneys, eyes, and other organs.
As a parent, keeping your child healthy and happy is your biggest concern and responsibility. Parents should model good eating habits, introduce physical activity, and also check their child’s blood pressure regularly to ensure that any serious health complications are prevented in the future.