Being a parent is a difficult task. Not only do you need to provide for your children, but you need to be completely responsible for their health and well-being. This means paying attention to their bodies and minds and getting them the help they need. While most children will experience the sniffles, there are some who will combat something larger. To help you know when your child needs medical attention, here are five symptoms you simply cannot ignore.
Having a fever is your body’s way of fighting illness or disease or simply alerting you to something else being wrong. If your child has a fever, you need to pay attention. It could be a warning sign that something else is lurking underneath, whether just a small viral infection to something more life-threatening. When your child has a fever, check for other symptoms associated with the fever. Then, be sure to call your child’s doctor. As mentioned, it could be something that cures itself on its own, but it could also be something that needs immediate attention, so always err on the side of caution.
2. Stomach Pain
Children get stomach aches, and it always tends to be their go-to illness when they don’t want to do something. However, while your child could be using it to get out of doing chores, it’s also possible something is wrong. Stomach aches can occur for a variety of reasons. The most common symptom is that your child needs to go to the bathroom. If your child struggles with their bowel movements, be sure to add some fiber to their diet to keep them regular.
In addition to bowel trouble, stomach aches can come from anxiety. If your child is nervous, it could cause stomach pain. If the anxiety is due to something you’re aware of, such as starring in a play or a big test, then there’s not much you can do besides help your child relax. If the anxiety is coming from something else, it may be good to have your child see someone.
Stomach issues can also be related to more threatening situations, such as a ruptured appendix or intestinal trouble. If the pain seems strong and your child can’t even sit upright, get them to an emergency room right away.
3. Foot/Leg Pain
Children are going to injure their feet and legs. It’s just what kids do. However, if your child has trouble walking or is in constant pain when he or she walks, then you need to take them to an orthopedic doctor. This professional will be able to thoroughly diagnose your child’s issue and create a solution, whether that includes therapy, medication, or surgery.
4. Mood Swings
Most parents know that children in their early teens can be moody. It’s what comes with changing hormones. However, while some mood swings can be associated with puberty, there are others that can be a sign of something else, such as a mental illness like depression or bipolar disorder. Children can show signs of mental illness early on, so it’s important to have them see a professional in order to teach them how to manage their feelings and emotions in a healthier way. Sometimes all your child needs is medication to make them better, while others benefit from therapy.
5. Fatigue/Shortness of Breath
Most children are energetic and can bounce off the walls for hours on end. However, if your child is winded easily or if he or she spends most of his day wanting to sleep, it could be a sign of a serious underlying issue. Be sure to bring your child to the doctor. It could be a sign of something common and manageable, such as asthma, or it could be a sign of a respiratory issue that requires surgery.
Being a parent is tough, and you are going to constantly wonder if you’re overdoing it on the medical watch. However, remember that your child’s health and safety is the most important, so always err on the side of caution.