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11 Physical Symptoms In Children That Parents Should Pay Extra Attention To And Expert Tips

Monitoring your children is no easy task and the toll it takes on you as a parent cannot be overlooked. Parents must pay attention to certain areas when monitoring their children - and one of these important areas is certain physical symptoms their body shows.

At times, it can be difficult to determine which symptoms warrant a physician's attention. You, as a parent, maybe unclear as to what level of fever indicates a high temperature, what level of stomach pain indicates a stomach bug, right?

A cut or minor flu may not warrant extra attention, but certain physical symptoms are indicators that you need to consult your child's physician right away.

The article includes the following:

1. Symptoms In Children That Shouldn't Be Ignored Such As:

Hearing loss
Headache
Fever
Stomach-ache
Weakness etc.

2. Symptoms In New-borns That Shouldn't Be Ignored

3. Expert Tips For Parents

4. When To Consult A Doctor

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1. Hearing Loss

Children may suffer from hearing loss as they grow older and are exposed to video games, television, music devices such as headphones, and even noisy city streets. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 12.5 per cent of children ages 6 to 19 has permanent hearing damage due to exposure to loud noise [1].

Tip for parents: Never set the volume above half when children are listening with headphones. This also applies to video games, television, and movies. Make sure you limit their exposure to loud noises (create a schedule/timetable).

2. High Fever

A fever is an indication that the immune system is fighting an infection, but at times, it requires medical attention. A body temperature of 38°C or higher is generally considered a fever and indicates an active immune system in a child [2]. A trip to the pharmacy is unnecessary if he or she is eating and drinking as they would on any other day. Fever that persists longer than two days for a child under two years, or for more than four days for a child over two years of age, should be evaluated by a physician [3].

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3. Headache

A headache is usually caused by muscle constriction in the scalp rather than by a brain-related condition. Children should not experience headaches in general. When the pain persists and interferes with the child's normal activities such as eating, playing, or watching television, consult a paediatrician. If your child suffers from headaches frequently, he or she should be evaluated [4].

There could be a more serious issue if a severe headache is present along with a high fever and your child is unable to open their eyes. Consult a paediatrician immediately if you suspect your child may have meningitis. Symptoms associated with this condition include vomiting, rashes, and neck stiffness.

Tips for parents: If your child is suffering from a minor headache, it may be treated with OTC (over-the-counter) painkillers.

4. Abdominal Pain

Many kids experience stomach aches from time to time, especially when they are adjusting to new diets, trying new foods, or have the occasional junk food overload. Symptoms of abdominal pain may be an indication of a more serious condition if your child is experiencing additional discomfort. There may be abdominal pain on the right side of the abdomen, vomiting, diarrhoea, and tenderness in the stomach when touched, as this may indicate appendicitis [5][6].

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5. Extreme Fatigue

Consult your paediatrician if you notice that your child is feeling fatigued or does not seem to be as energetic as usual for an extended period. Several factors can contribute to extreme fatigue. Do not dismiss these complaints as symptoms of late nights or adolescence. In addition to anaemia, malabsorption syndrome, and depression, your paediatrician may investigate a range of other possibilities [7].

Tips for parents: Give your child the option to speak with their doctor without you present. Your child, especially an older child, may feel more comfortable discussing specific medical or social issues with their doctor independently.

6. Weight Loss

Weight fluctuations in children are generally normal. However, dramatic and unintended weight loss could be a sign of a serious issue. If you notice a sudden, unexplained decline in your child's weight, it is important to consult their paediatrician. The same goes for weight gain [8][9].

7. Excessive Thirst

It is not uncommon for your child to become thirsty after playing for several hours. It is important to consult a physician if you find that your child is not satisfied even after drinking ample amounts of water. Constant thirst may indicate an underlying health condition, such as diabetes.

Excessive thirst is one of the symptoms associated with type 1 diabetes. Other symptoms include excessive urination, extreme hunger, weight loss, and fatigue. Please schedule an appointment for your child with their paediatrician if any of these symptoms are present [10].

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8. Breathing Issues

Wheezing should not be audible. It is something you should hear with a stethoscope. Experts advise a doctor to be notified immediately if the wheezing is so severe that a parent can hear it. Asthma treatment does not cure the condition, but it does help minimize symptoms or prevent asthma attacks. Speak to your paediatrician if you notice your child is having breathing difficulties [11].

Tips for parents: Subtle signs of respiratory illness include difficulty breathing while playing or exercising, whistling noises when exhaling, shortness of breath, and difficulty recovering from respiratory infections.

9. Trouble Focusing Vision

Let your paediatrician know if your child is not able to focus on objects or if he or she has difficulty finding objects such as your face or hand. Constant eye rubbing is another indication of possible vision problems [12][13].

Tips for parents: Watch for signs including squinting, difficulty reading, and sitting too close to the television in school-aged children.

10. Extensive Rashes

When the rash on your child's hands or feet is restricted to those areas alone, you need not be alarmed. However, if it occurs all over the body, your child may require medical attention. If the localised, red-coloured rash becomes white upon pressing and turns back to red upon releasing, then you need not be concerned. Unless this occurs and if there is fever in combination with these rashes, then it could be a medical emergency, such as sepsis or meningitis [14].

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Symptoms In New-borns That Shouldn't Be Ignored

11. Lack Of Response To Loud Sounds

Babies and newborns cannot communicate their hearing problems. They also do not respond to every stimulus in the same way we would. Make an appointment with your paediatrician if your child does not seem bothered by or does not respond to loud sounds [15].

On A Final Note...

During their growing years, kids will experience cuts, bruises, and the flu. However, as a parent, you should not ignore these signs and symptoms in your children. It may be necessary to see a physician immediately, as timely treatment can help treat most of these conditions.

Story first published: Monday, November 15, 2021, 15:54 [IST]