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Hypertension in Children

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What is hypertension?

Hypertension is high blood pressure (BP). Your child's BP is the force of the blood moving against the walls of the arteries. Hypertension causes your child's heart to work much harder than normal. This can damage his or her heart. High BP in childhood increases the risk for hypertension and cardiovascular disease as an adult. A controlled BP helps protect your child's organs, such as his or her heart, lungs, brain, and kidneys.

What causes or increases my child's risk for hypertension?

What are the signs and symptoms of hypertension?

Your child may have no signs or symptoms, or any of the following:

How is hypertension diagnosed and treated?

Your child's BP will be compared with BP of other children his or her age, height, and weight. If your child's BP is high, it will be checked again at later visits. Your child may have hypertension if he or she has high BP during the visits. The cause of your child's high BP may need to be treated. If no cause is found, treatment usually starts with lifestyle changes. Your child may need medicines if lifestyle changes do not work. Your child's healthcare provider may recommend any of the following, based on your child's needs:

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

View more treatment options

What can I do to help manage my child's hypertension?

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

When should I call my child's doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.