Low Blood Pressure In Children - Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Low Blood Pressure In Children

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Does your child feel tired and exhausted even after doing a light activity? Does he complain of sudden dizziness or nausea? If you can relate your child to the above situations, then he may be suffering from low blood pressure.

Low blood pressure can cause fainting, potential injuries and damage to vital organs. Do you want to know how you can detect and treat low blood pressure in your child? Go ahead with your read!

What Is Low Blood Pressure In Children?

Low blood pressure or hypotension is a condition in which the blood pressure is lower than normal. It means that the heart, brain and other parts of the body are not getting enough blood. Low blood pressure in children is curable, but it is important diagnose its cause to ascertain the treatment.

[ Read: Chest Pain In Children  ]

What Are The Normal Levels Of Blood Pressure?

Hypotension occurs when the body is unable to maintain the blood pressure within the normal range. The normal blood pressure is between 90/60 mmHg and 130/80 mmHg. You can term a blood pressure reading of 90 mercury (mm Hg) or less systolic blood pressure or 60 mm Hg or less diastolic blood pressure, as a case of hypotension.

[ Read:  Symptoms Of Anemia In Children  ]

Types Of Low Blood Pressure:

  • Orthostatic hypotension [1]
  • Neurally mediated hypotension[2]

Causes Of Low Blood Pressure In Children:

Hypotension may occur due to a variety of factors like the following:

1. Dehydration:

Dehydration is a condition that occurs due to an imbalance between the quantity of water a child consumes and the amount of fluid the body needs to perform at its best. It may be a side effect of fever, severe diarrhea, or excessive sweating. A decrease in fluid reduces the blood volume and leads to hypotension.

2. Medications:

Certain medications and health supplements may dilate the blood vessels and decrease the blood pressure.

3. Anemia:

Anemia is another major cause of hypotension in children.

4. Adrenal Insufficiency:

Adrenal insufficiency is the impairment in the production and release of the hormones necessary for the functioning of the body. Low blood pressure because of adrenal insufficiency occurs when there is too little salt or sodium in the body. Children with mineralocorticoid [3] deficiency are susceptible to low blood pressure.

5. Change In Position:

Orthostatic hypotension happens due to a sudden change in the position of the body. It usually occurs when a child stands up after lying down for a while. Such an instance of low blood pressure lasts only for a few seconds or minutes.

6. Shock:

It is a fatal condition when the blood pressure is minimal and cannot sustain life. It can be due to low blood volume, malfunctioning of the heart or excessive dilation of blood vessels.

Symptoms Of Low Blood Pressure In Children:

The following symptoms accompany a dip in blood pressure:

  • Dizziness
  • Blurry vision
  • Confusion
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Sleepiness
  • Nausea
  • Cold and clammy skin
  • Depression
  • Thirst
  • Lightheadedness


The pediatrician will try to identify the cause of low blood pressure in child. He may monitor your child’s vital symptoms like blood pressure, pulse, rate of breathing or temperature. The doctor may also advise your child to undergo the following tests:

  • X-ray of the abdomen and chest
  • Basic metabolic panel
  • ECG
  • Urinalysis
  • Blood culture tests to check for infection
  • Test to check the complete blood count

Treatment For Low Blood Pressure:

The treatment of blood pressure depends entirely on its cause and underlying symptoms. You can treat most of the cases of low blood pressure at home.

  • Hypotension due to dehydration is relatively mild and reversible. The pediatrician will advise you to give your child more fluids to treat dehydration.
  • If your child is suffering from low blood pressure due to certain medications, then your doctor will change the dosage or will switch to a different drug. Do not stop giving medicines to your child without talking to the doctor.
  • Severe hypotension due to shock may require emergency medical attention in the form of:
  1. a) Children suffering from shock may need more blood.
  2. b) They may require medicines to improve the heart strength and blood pressure

[ Read: Dehydration In Children ]


Severe drop in blood pressure can starve your child’s body of oxygen. It can damage your child’s heart, brain, and other organs. Low blood pressure can be life-threatening if not treated right away. Hypotension can cause blurry vision or dizziness, which may result in a fall and injuries.

When To Contact The Doctor?

Seek immediate medical help in the following situations:

  • If your child is unable to breathe.
  • If he faints.
  • If he is passing black or maroon stools.
  • If he is suffering from high fever.
  • If he is having chest pain, irregular heartbeat and shortness of breath.

Low blood pressure may not be a common condition in children, but it is not rare either. You can easily treat low blood pressure in kids by consulting your pediatrician.

Does your child suffer from low blood pressure? How did you reverse this condition? Please share some tips with us in the comment section.

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