Child care

Lethargy in Children

Children are usually full of energy and very active. But there is a general complaint by some parents that their children are lethargic. Lethargy in children refers to an extended feeling of tiredness, fatigue, reduced energy levels and difficulty staying awake while at school or doing homework. These children struggle to stay awake for a short period of time. Fatigue can be caused by illness, lack of sleep or a hectic schedule. It can also be due to a psychological disorder. Read this article to know more about lethargy in children.

Causes of Lethargy in Children
The following are a few causes of lethargy in kids:

  • Lack of sleep – Children who do not get sufficient sleep often feel lethargic throughout the day, which may affect concentration at school.  A child must get 8 to 9 hours of sleep everyday to prevent lethargy.
  • Malnutrition – It is one of the biggest causes of lethargy in children. Undernourished or malnourished children have reduced energy due to poor nutrition.  It is important to eat a variety of foods from each food group each day.  A children’s multivitamin may also be helpful.
  • Anemia – One of the earliest symptoms of anemia is lethargy. In this condition, there is a considerable reduction in Red Blood Cells (RBC’s).  RBC’s deliver oxygen and nutrients to all organs of the body.
  • Fever – Fever generally occurs due to a viral infection or disease.  A fever is the body’s defense mechanism for fighting off illness.  During an illness, extreme lethargy may be present.
  • Depression and Psychological Disorders – Depression and psychological disorders may cause lethargy.  It takes a lot of energy to be depressed, resulting in fatigue.
  • Meningitis – Meningitis is an infection caused by inflammation of the membranes that protect the spinal cord and brain from external damage. Symptoms include fever, headache and neck pain. This is an extremely serious and potentially deadly illness.  If any of these symptoms are present seek medical attention immediately.
  • Stress – Stress can also cause lethargy.
  • Medications – Various medications may cause lethargy.
  • Chronic Diseases – Chronic diseases such as cancer, liver disease, diabetes or kidney disease all tax the body and can cause lethargy.
  • Head Injury – If your child hit their head they may have a concussion. If your child is experiencing a headache, dizziness and lethargy after hitting their head you should seek medical attention immediately.

 

 Symptoms of Lethargy in Kids
The following are a symptoms of lethargy in kids:

  • Reduced energy levels
  • Lack of interest
  • Slow movements
  • Feeling sleepy at school
  • Appear tired and fatigued

Consult a physician if chronic lethargy is present. Ensure your child is getting proper nutrition and provide a daily multivitamin. Talk to your pediatrician before offering any health drinks or supplements to boost energy levels.

There are several ways to prevent lethargy in children. For instance, encouraging your child to play outside or play a sport to increase physical activity. But make sure your child is not overburdened with homework, sports or activities. Also, monitor your child’s sleep patterns to prevent lethargy.

References

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/tiredness2.shtml

http://www.arthritistoday.org/conditions/juvenile-arthritis/all-about-ja/fatigue-in-children.php

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *