Can Children Be Hypertensive?

People often think that hypertension is a health challenge that affects only adults, who have problems and worry about so many things, but that is not the case. It has been recently discovered that the disease can present itself at any age and even in a newborn. In a newborn, hypertension is associated with the lack of energy, difficulty in breathing, convulsions and inability to grow well. Among infants and children, it is associated with headache, blurred vision, unexplained irritability, bleeding from the nose and at times, paralysis.

  Mayoclinic.org observes that many persons may not know that they are hypertensive until the symptoms start manifesting, which may be very challenging. Hence, it is important to check and monitor the blood pressure regularly. The symptoms of blood pressure may include headache, as an increase in blood pressure may cause the blood vessels to stretch and thin out such that fluid moves from the vessels to its surrounding tissue and consequently causing the brain to swell. This could result in headaches that worsen with physical activities while some people may also experience convulsion, weakness and dizziness, if the swelling persists. Other symptoms are vertigo, a feeling that the surrounding is moving, which some would call dizziness, visual difficulty, which is caused by the movement of fluid from the blood vessels into the retina, which would affect the perception of light and might lead to blindness.

  Another one is breathing difficulty, which could be caused by the movement of fluid from the blood vessels into the lungs, as this would make the lungs to be filled with fluid thereby making exchange of gas difficult. Tinnitus is another feature, which is the abnormal sound in the ear, which may be caused by headache and loss of sleep, to mention a few. Hypertension is no respecter of age, gender or social status. The best way to stay free and healthy is to go for regular check-up and adopt healthy lifestyle principles such as reducing the intake of salt and sugar, saying no to alcohol, cigarette and harmful drugs as well as embracing regular exercise, whole grain, vegetable diet and good sleep – Culled from Seventh-day Adventist Church Adult Sabbath School Guide, 2020.