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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Improving the understanding, detection, and management of kidney disease.

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BACK TO SCHOOL: KIDS, HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE, AND KIDNEY HEALTH

With the new school year in full swing, every one is on the go. Remember, however, it's important to make sure that children make healthy eating choices and continue to be physically active—even while managing school activities.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys found that one in six American children, ages 2 to 19, are obese. A recent study published in the American Heart Association’s Hypertension journal found that obesity is closely linked to the increase of high blood pressure-related hospitalizations among children and teenagers.

"Children are being diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure earlier," said Dr. Marva Moxey-Mims, director of pediatric nephrology at the National Institutes of Health. "If there is a family history of these diseases, parents should be sure to ask the pediatrician to evaluate their child, because they are at potential risk for developing kidney disease."   

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To help manage health and possibly prevent the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure, make physical activity and healthy eating an effort that the entire family supports. Check out our Resource Center (to the right) for links to helpful websites. 

Child examination by healthcare provider

Steps to keep your child's blood pressure in the healthy range

These tips are good for all children, especially those who have or are at risk for high blood pressure:
  • Give your child healthy home cooked food
  • Use less canned or pre-prepared food
  • Encourage physical activity
  • If your child smokes or chews tobacco, talk with his or her doctor about how to help your child quit
  • Make sure that your child takes his or her blood pressure medicine if prescribed
  • You and your family can keep a healthy weight. Visit the Weight-control Information Network, We Can!® , and Let's Move for tips for parents. 

Questions to ask the doctor about your child's blood pressure

  • What is my child's blood pressure?
  • Is it in the normal range?
  • Is my child at risk for high blood pressure?
For more information about children, high blood pressure, and kidney disease, download High Blood Pressure and Children: What Parents Need to Know

Page last updated: September 7, 2012