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High blood pressure (hypertension) is when the force of blood pumping through your child's arteries is too strong. The arteries are the blood vessels that carry blood from the heart throughout the body.
A normal blood pressure depends on your child's sex, age, and height. Your child may have elevated blood pressure if his or her blood pressure is higher (greater than the 90th percentile) than other children of the same sex, age, and height. For children ages 13 and older, a normal blood pressure should be lower than 120/80.
Talk with your child's health care provider about what a healthy blood pressure is for your child.
Once your child reaches age 3, it is important to have a blood pressure check every year. Children with high blood pressure are at higher risk for heart disease and stroke as adults.
Your child's health care provider may diagnose hypertension by using a stethoscope and measuring your child's blood pressure with a cuff placed around your child's arm. To confirm the diagnosis, your child's health care provider will take your child's blood pressure at three separate appointments to see whether the numbers are high at each one.
This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.
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