Why Doctors Should Check Your Child’s Blood Pressure Starting at Age 3

October 12, 2017

 

Three out of four children with high blood pressure aren't properly diagnosed. New guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics aim to prevent kidney disease and other effects."

According to the New York Times, less than one-quarter of the children with high blood pressure are correctly diagnosed. That may not sound like a big deal for youngsters, since the effects don't usually impact their health in the early years. But without treatment, it can lead to kidney disease, kidney failure, and even early heart attacks and strokes.

New guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend doctors screen all children for high blood pressure, beginning at age 3. If you've got a blood pressure cuff at home, it won't work for young children: the cuff is too large, and a child's healthy blood pressure range is totally different from the 120 over 80 we're all familiar with as adults.

The best thing to do is ask your doctor to check your child's blood pressure at his or her regular check-up. Feel free to share the study with them, which includes best practices and a handy chart with healthy ranges depending on the age and weight of your child.

Want more health and fitness tips? Follow the YMCA of Metro Chicago on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.