Diseases and Conditions

High blood pressure in children

Overview

High blood pressure (hypertension) in children is blood pressure that's the same as or higher than 95 percent of children who are the same sex, age and height as your child. There isn't a simple target blood pressure reading that indicates high blood pressure in all children because what's considered normal changes as children grow.

High blood pressure in children younger than 6 years old is usually caused by another medical condition. Older children can develop high blood pressure for the same reasons adults do — excess weight, poor nutrition and lack of exercise.

Lifestyle changes, such as eating a heart-healthy diet and exercising more, can help reduce high blood pressure in children. But for some children, medications may be necessary.