Although blood pressure conditions are rare in children, they do occur. The best way to keep tabs on your child’s health is to check his or her blood pressure on a regular basis. However, it is important to use a blood pressure cuff and monitor that is appropriate for your child’s age.
Adult-size cuffs are typically too large for children and pre-adolescents. This is because they cover too much of the arm, resulting in skewed readings that might indicate a problem when none exists. Additionally, inappropriate cuff sizes can cause discomfort or even pain during the procedure, so make sure you have the best equipment before you attempt blood pressure monitoring at home.
If you need to check your child’s blood pressure, one of these options is best for accuracy and comfort.
The CMS-08a for Automatic Measurements and All Cuff Sizes
One popular option is to purchase a blood pressure device intended specific for pediatric use. The cms-08a is suitable for all children, including infants. If you need to monitor your own blood pressure, you can also use it on yourself since the product is rated for adults, as well.
A dedicated pediatric blood pressure monitor offers several advantages to adult-size models, including inflation and display features designed specifically for children. They won’t cause bruising or pain during inflation, which means your child will be less likely to resist the procedure, especially if you have to take readings daily.
The CMS-08a has a three-user system, which means three different people can use the device and store their readings for future access. Its multi-colored display makes checking the data much easier, and it comes with an auto-inflation cuff that inflates when you push the appropriate button.
This model also comes with three cuff sizes, including a neo-natal cuff if your infant requires regular screenings. It is battery-operated, but it also comes with an adapter if you would rather use it while it is plugged into an electrical outlet in your home.
After you purchase your CMS-08a, take it with you to your next visit with the pediatrician. Have your child’s doctor take your child’s blood pressure with the in-office machine as well as your home unit to determine any differences in readings. This unit is considered accurate, but you might have to make adjustments in readings based on the results in the physician’s office.
Omron Blood Pressure Monitor with Small Cuff
Many blood pressure monitor manufacturers offer different sizes of cuffs to suit consumers with varying body types. Omron has an outstanding reputation for its accuracy.
When ordering a blood pressure cuff for your child, pay attention to the sizing. Most small cuffs are created for arms up to about 11″ in diameter, so consider measuring your child’s arm before you order the product. Larger pre-teens and teens might need a larger size despite their age.
The small adult blood pressure cuffs produced by Omron will fit most children, so you can purchase a high-quality Omron monitor without having to use a dedicated pediatric blood pressure cuff.
Additionally, an Omron H-003DS or CD-CS9 small adult blood pressure cuff can be purchased. They will fit arms with a circumference from 7 to 9 inches, so this a limitation when you are looking for smaller cuff sizes.
The next step is to plug the bp cuff into the new device. Be sure the small bp cuff matches the device. Here is an overview of the two small Omron cuffs and their matching bp models.
Maybe you already monitor your own blood pressure with one of the types mentioned above. In this case of course, you do not have to run out and purchase an entirely new device for your child. Different cuffs work on the same model, so you’ll save money without losing features.
Keep in mind that accuracy is even more important for pediatric blood pressure than for adult monitoring. If your monitor is on the lower end of the quality scale, or if it doesn’t have any advanced features, you might want to upgrade at the same time you order your small cuff. This can save money in the long run and prevent any mistakes in recording your child’s readings.
Use a Pediatric Aneroid Sphymonamoneter
This is a mechanical blood pressure monitor with a dial. These devices do not have an automatic inflation function, so they have to be inflated by hand. These manual sphygmomanometers require a stethoscope to listen to an artery when releasing the cuff pressure. According to the presence or absence of specific sounds when the cuff pressure decreases, the blood pressure can be calculated.
This skill needs training and practice. So for measuring blood pressure at home it probably is not the best solution. On the other hand, it is a cheap option. So if you are on a budget and have some patience training yourself how to measure with an aneroid sphymonamoneter, it can be a good solution.
Keep in touch with your doctor
Most of the time, high or low blood pressure in children is nothing to worry about. Sometimes children even suffer from “white coat hypertension,” which means that their blood pressure readings are higher at the doctor’s office than at home. This usually indicates anxiety over visiting the pediatrician.
Maintain constant communication with your child’s doctor about any changes in blood pressure and make sure you are using appropriate equipment at all times.