Your child’s provider may ask that you check your child’s blood pressure both day and night for any changes. Some children may have high blood pressure readings while in a healthcare setting because they are anxious. You can get a more accurate blood pressure reading when at home because your child may be more relaxed.
Causes of High Blood Pressure in Children
There are two types of hypertension (high blood pressure) in children. High blood pressure may be due to another illness, such as kidney disease, heart disease, or genetic, endocrine, or sleep disorders. Essential hypertension is high blood pressure that is often due to obesity.
Children with either type of high blood pressure may need treatment. You must closely watch your child’s blood pressure for any changes.
You will need a blood pressure cuff and monitor. Use a cuff that is the right size for your child. As your child grows, the cuff size will need to increase.
Choose a time when your child has been quiet and calm for at least 5 minutes and has not been given any blood pressure medicine for an hour.
Place the cuff on your child’s right arm halfway between the shoulder and elbow.
Turn the monitor on.
Have your child sit back against the chair with both feet on the floor orlay quietly as the cuff inflates. You may need to hold your child’s arm still. The cuff should feel snug but not painful.
If the cuff does become very painful, there may be a kink in the tubing. Release the kink and start over.
Your child should be quiet and still until the cuff deflates.
Check the blood pressure again in30-60 minutes if the blood pressure seems “off” for any reason.
Write the blood pressure reading in your child’s log.
When to Call
Call if you have any questions or concerns.
Who to Call
Pediatric Nephrology and Hypertension
608-263-6420, option 1 (phone)
If you are a patient receiving care at UnityPoint – Meriter, Swedish American or a health system outside of UW Health, please use the phone numbers provided in your discharge instructions for any questions or concerns.