With childhood hypertension, it’s crucial to undergo a thorough evaluation because diagnosing children is much more nuanced than diagnosing adults. To achieve a highly accurate diagnosis, we do the following:
- Provide every child with 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM), which takes blood pressure readings every 20–30 minutes continually over 24 hours, giving us valuable information about the child’s health.
- Employ advanced technology and imaging and collaborate with experts, such as cardiologists and endocrinologists, and radiologists when secondary hypertension is suspected.
- Use a diagnostic tool called Hyperisk, developed at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, to consolidate your child’s blood pressure measurements and quickly alert you and your doctor with a flag in his or her electronic health record when hypertension is suspected.
Dietary and exercise guidance
We treat the whole child and provide wraparound care that empowers children to gain control of their blood pressure and improve their quality of life. This includes the following:
- At every visit, seeing our dedicated dietitian, who specializes in hypertension and helps you implement specific dietary enhancements to lower blood pressure, tailored to your child’s personal needs.
- Helping your child with weight management, which may include connecting you with our Center for Healthy Weight, which includes the Pediatric Weight Clinic, for a helpful assessment of your child’s behavioral and mental health needs as they relate to weight. For children with heart conditions or severe hypertension, we may refer you to our Cardiopulmonary Exercise Lab for a functional capacity evaluation.
Home and school support
It can be hard to know exactly where to begin when supporting your child with hypertension. We help you:
- Determine a plan for managing your child’s high blood pressure at home. This includes helping you understand your child’s high blood pressure, establishing methods for controlling it, and connecting you with resources in your community with the help of a social worker.
- Secure a home monitoring device and teach you how to use it, including helping to obtain and use special cuffs for babies.
- Work with your child’s school, as needed, to provide guidance on specific health requirements, such as diet and exercise.
Outreach clinics and long-distance care
We understand how important it is to receive care close to home—that’s why we are building a network of outreach clinics in Northern California, with current outreach clinics at California Pacific Medical Center and John Muir Health. We are also happy to partner with your child’s local doctor to ensure that your child receives integrated care. We see children from across California and beyond; we can also conduct follow-up visits virtually.