Guidelines Urge Toddler Blood Pressure Readings
The National High Blood Pressure Education Program has written new guidelinesfor checking children's blood pressure. Federal guidelines suggestedchecking children for possible heart and blood vessel damage if they havehypertension. The updated guidelines, reported in Pediatrics (July 2004), encouragedphysicians to begin checking children for high blood pressure at age3 during routine office visits, just as they do for adults.
Factors for the increasing high blood pressure among children include obesity,less physical activity, and dietary chnages. The most current health statisticsindicated that children's blood pressures have increased slightly but significantlyin a decade. For example, average systolic pressure has risen from 105 to106, and diastolic has gone from 58 to 62.