Blood pressure measures the blood flow against the blood vessels' walls. It is measured with two numbers--systolic and diastolic. Systolic, the higher of the two numbers, measures pressure inside the artery when the heart is pumping. Diastolic measures the pressure when the heart is resting. Both numbers are recorded as mm HG (millimetres of mercury).
Although many adults do not consider it a risk, approximately 5 per cent of children have high blood pressure.
Changes in Blood Pressure
Changes in blood pressure can be caused by time of day, activity, emotions, stress or illnesses.
Boys tend to have higher blood pressure than girls.
Age, height and weight cause variations in blood pressure. Older, taller and heavier children have higher blood pressure.
Normal blood pressure varies greatly, but for boys ages 1 to 3, it should be from 80 to 120 over 34 to 75. For ages 4 to 6, it should be from 88 to 128 over 47 to 84. For ages 7 to 10, it should be from 92 to 130 over 53 to 90.
For girls ages 1 to 3, the blood pressure should 83 to 117 over 38 to 76. For ages 4 to 6, it should be from 88 to 122 over 50 to 83. For ages 7 to 10, it should be from 93 to 129 over 55 to 88.