CHILDREN’S HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE: SYMPTOMS, HOME CARE, ETC

Signs and symptoms

High blood pressure has been called the “silent disease,” because it often has no symptoms. Symptoms, if they occur, can include headaches, pounding heartbeat, shortness of breath during exercise, and flushing of the face. Accurate diagnosis can be made only by taking careful blood pressure measurements with instruments that are the correct size for your child’s size. If the blood pressure is high on the first reading, the doctor will check it several times at return visits to make sure that the first reading was accurate.

Home care

There is no home treatment for high blood pressure. The condition must be diagnosed and treated by a doctor. All children should have an annual physical examination. High blood pressure in child-hood is curable, but it can be dangerous if it is not treated.

• Be sure the doctor checks your child’s blood pressure during each annual checkup.

Medical treatment

Your doctor will give the child a complete physical examination, including measuring the blood pressure, palpating the arteries in the groin, and examining the eye for changes in the blood vessels in the back of the eyes (where effects of high blood pressure may be recognized early). The doctor will also examine the child’s heart, abdomen, and genitals.

It takes complicated laboratory investigation to check for all of the many possible causes of high blood pressure. Except for rare cases, all the causes of high, blood pressure can be successfully treated or cured by medications, changes in diet, or surgery. However, the condition frequently requires the child to be hospitalized for tests and determination of treatment.

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