normal range for infant blood pressure
The average blood pressure in a newborn baby is 64/41 mmHg, whereas for infants (aged over 1 month) it is around 95/58 mmHg.

The normal blood pressure in an infant varies as they grow and needs to be measured by a special in-dwelling intra-arterial catheter in an intensive care unit setting. There may also be slight variations in the normal average blood pressure in infants.

  • The average blood pressure in a newborn baby is about 64/41 mmHg (millimeters of mercury).
  • For infants aged one month and above, the average blood pressure is about 95/58.

The first number expresses the systolic blood pressure, whereas the second number depicts the diastolic blood pressure.

  • Systolic blood pressure refers to the blood pressure recorded while your heart is actively pumping blood or contracting (systole).
  • Diastolic blood pressure refers to the blood pressure while your heart is relaxing between heartbeats (diastole).

The normal blood pressure in infants at different stages of life is seen below:

Normal blood pressure in infants at different stages of life
Age Average blood pressure (mmHg)
Systolic blood pressure Diastolic blood pressure
0 to 6 months 65 to 90 45 to 65
6 to 12 months 80 to 100 55 to 65

What are the symptoms and signs of high blood pressure in an infant?

The signs of hypertension in infants vary depending upon the underlying cause. Some infants may not have any signs and symptoms.

When present, the signs of high blood pressure may include the following:

If your infant has any of the above signs, you must contact your doctor. These signs may not be exclusively seen in high blood pressure, and consulting a doctor will help diagnose the cause.

Early diagnosis of high blood pressure in infants can avoid complications such as heart failure, kidney failure, and brain damage.

What are the causes of high blood pressure in an infant?

Blood pressure means the force or pressure exerted on the walls of the arteries (blood vessels carrying blood from the heart to other organs and tissues) by the blood flowing in them. When the blood pressure increases more than normal, the condition is called hypertension or high blood pressure.

High blood pressure in an infant is generally caused by several congenital (present since birth) conditions affecting the heart or the kidneys.

The following are causes of hypertension in infants:

  • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (a serious lung condition affecting newborns)
  • Coarctation of the aorta (abnormal narrowing of the aorta, which is the blood vessel carrying blood from the heart)
  • Injury to the blood vessels in the kidneys due to umbilical artery catheterization (a procedure done in neonatal intensive care units to collect blood samples from the baby and monitor their blood pressure)
  • Certain medications such as steroids, caffeine, theophylline, and beta-agonists
  • Hormonal abnormalities such as hyperthyroidism or congenital adrenal hyperplasia
  • Renal artery stenosis (abnormal narrowing of the blood vessel carrying blood to the kidney)
  • Renal vein thrombosis (blood clot in the vein carrying blood from the kidney)
  • Polycystic kidney disease (a type of congenital abnormality of the kidney)
  • Urinary tract obstruction
  • Intracranial hemorrhage (bleeding in or around the brain)
  • Seizures
  • High serum calcium
  • Certain tumors such as pheochromocytoma, Wilms tumor, and neuroblastoma
  • Maternal drug abuse during pregnancy

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Medically Reviewed on 5/27/2022
References
Image Source: iStock Images

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/evaluation-and-diagnosis-of-hypertension-in-infants-between-one-month-and-one-year-of-age#H3752827

https://www.mottchildren.org/health-library/abo2987

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007329.htm