Lethargy in Children

Dormancy in kids is normal and requires no treatment by and large. Nonetheless, kids getting to be lazy can likewise be because of infections like meningitis.

Many parents often complain about their children being lethargic. But what does lethargy mean? Lethargy in children refers to decreased energy levels. It is defined as a prolonged feeling of tiredness and fatigue. Lethargic children lie down lazily and won’t even move around for a considerable period of time. A lethargic feeling arising from flagging energy levels, is sometimes associated with serious ailments and even psychological disorders. Although adults are more susceptible to lethargy, active children, too experience this feeling.

Causes

Lack of Sleep: Children who do not get sufficient sleep often feel lethargic throughout the day. Due to lack of sleep, the child experiences persistent fatigue and is unable to concentrate on his daily routine. A feeling of tiredness is commonly observed in children, when they are deprived of sufficient sleep. Hence, sleeping 7-8 hours in a day, is necessary to perform day-to day activities efficiently and to keep lethargy at bay. Sleeping disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea can also trigger persistent feeling of sluggishness in children.

Malnutrition: Malnourished children are bound to show signs of lethargy. These children show a considerable decrease in energy levels. As the body does not get its daily dosage of proteins, vitamins and minerals, the child shows a sharp drop in daytime activity levels. Hypoglycemia due to poor nutrition can also cause lethargy in children

Anemia: This condition causes a major reduction in the number of red blood cells, that deliver oxygen to different organs of the body. Thus, anemia causes lack of oxygen that makes the child lethargic. A poor diet, deficient in iron, is the most common factor that contributes to lethargy in infants.

Fever: Fever and lethargy in children are often correlated. Fever in children commonly occurs due to viral infections such as common cold and seasonal flu. Fevers that have a temperature ranging from 101 to 103 ºF are not serious, but make the child uncomfortable. The child is unresponsive and prefers minimal verbal interaction. However, infants 6 weeks old and suffering from high fever (more than 101) require immediate treatment as it is a symptom of serious illness.

Depression: Children suffering from depression also slowly start becoming lethargic. Although depression is a mental problem, it drains energy, making the child more lethargic. Feeling of tiredness, accompanied by anxiety attacks, are some of the symptoms of depression. Even standing for some time cannot be tolerated by the child.

Stress: In today’s cut throat competition, children can be bogged down with high expectations from parents. Parental pressure to perform well in studies and extra curricular activities can leave the child stressed. This too can make the child sluggish and disinterested in any activity.

Meningitis: Meningitis that leads to extreme lethargy, occurs in large number of children. Meningitis, an infection, causes inflammation of the membranes that protect the brain and spinal cord from external damage. Children with meningitis experience headache, fever and sleep more than usual. They show lack of energy and interest in outdoor and indoor activities.

One of the best ways to treat and prevent lethargy is to monitor your child’s diet. As a parent, you should see to it that the child is getting healthy meals. The habit of skipping breakfast or snacking on unhealthy foodstuffs often leads to low energy levels in children. Keep in mind that the breakfast and lunch are the most important meals of the day. So, kick-start your child’s day with a breakfast that provide ample proteins and carbohydrates. 2-3 slices of whole wheat bread with peanut butter smeared over them and a bowl of whole grain cereals is also a good option for breakfast. Children can also be given hard-boiled eggs with few serving of fish and lean meat at breakfast. Make sure that your child does not go to school without a glass of milk. As far as lunch and dinner is considered, including green leafy vegetables and fruits is a must. Whole grain tortilla with romaine lettuce and few almonds delivers essential nutrients at lunch will keep energy levels high throughout the day. Avoid deep-frying and focus should be more on healthy cooking methods such as steaming, stir-frying, grilling and baking.

Lethargy in Babies

Lethargy in babies is not easy to diagnose. However, sleeping for longer periods of time than normal, or a feeling of tiredness even after taking a long nap, are all signs of lethargy in babies. One can determine whether a baby is lethargic by noticing its behavioral changes. Lethargic babies, also referred to as listless babies, appear to lack enthusiasm. The baby seems sluggish and drowsy, which can be a sign of serious illness such as pneumonia.

On rare occasions, persistent tiredness and weakness in children has been associated with liver problems, kidney dysfunction and thyroid disorders such as hypothyroidism. On the whole, in today’s hectic lifestyle, experiencing fatigue is fairly normal. However, unusual lack of energy that remains for quite some time needs proper medical attention to diagnose symptoms associated with this condition.

Projectile Vomiting in Infants

Infant vomiting is very common, as babies usually spit up a small amount of the ingested food. But, projectile vomiting in babies could be dangerous, if it is persistent or severe. Read on.

A large portion of us are acquainted with the way that newborn children regurgitation or spit up after feedings. This is exceptionally regular in children and guardians don’t stress over it, however it is badly designed and irritating for them. Be that as it may, in a few newborn children, regurgitating could be a reason for stress. For instance, shot retching in babies could be hazardous, as it might show some genuine restorative condition. Guardians must have a fundamental thought regarding the distinctive sorts of spewing in newborn children, keeping in mind the end goal to separate amongst them and distinguish shot heaving.

Vomiting in Infants

As mentioned earlier, vomiting can be of three types, as far as infants are concerned. They include reflux, posseting and projectile vomiting. The first type called reflux, occurs when the valve that controls the entry of the food from the esophagus to the stomach opens up in between and allows the contents in the stomach to enter the esophagus and come out through the mouth. This reflux is common in infants and most of them outgrow this condition as they become toddlers. Posseting is another common type of vomiting in infants, wherein babies vomit small amounts of ingested food, right after feeding. The most severe among the three types is projectile vomiting, which is the forceful expulsion of food consumed by the baby.

What is Projectile Vomiting

This type of vomiting is characterized by forceful expulsion of food, that too in considerable amounts. The vomit is expelled with much force, that it forms an arc shape. It is more common in infants, but can be seen in adults too. Occasional projectile vomiting is considered normal, but when it happens regularly, it could be an indication of some serious medical condition. Both breast-fed and bottle-fed babies are prone to this type of vomiting. If your baby is showing the following symptoms along with persistent projectile vomiting, you have to consult a pediatrician at the earliest:

  • Weight loss and irritability
  • Presence of bile or blood in the vomit
  • Dehydration symptoms like dry mouth and weakness
  • The baby looks unwell or seems to be in pain
  • Coughing or choking spells
  • Hunger after vomiting
  • Belching and bloated stomach

Causes

Even though, gastroesophageal reflex is said to be one of the common causes of vomiting in infants, it is uncommon for a baby with this condition to develop projectile vomiting. Breastfeeding is recommended for such infants. Usually, treatment is not given as the babies outgrow this condition with age. In some infants, milk allergy could be a reason for this problem.

More serious causes of projectile vomiting in infants include stomach flu or gastroenteritis, which is an intestinal infection caused by a virus. Another serious medical condition associated with this type of vomiting in infants is pyloric stenosis, which is characterized by thickening of the muscle (pylorus muscle) that is located at the lower section of the stomach, where it opens to the small intestine. In such cases, the enlarged pylorus muscle prevents the food in the stomach to enter the small intestine. This causes projectile vomiting right after feeding or after several hours of feeding. The symptoms of this condition include constant crying, refusal to eat food, wheezing, slow weight gain, dehydration due to vomiting, etc. Studies show that three out of every 1000 infants develop this condition, which is more prevalent in males. Usually, this condition develops after four to six weeks of birth. It is treated with pyloromyotomy, a surgery performed to relieve the obstruction. In some infants, projectile vomiting is caused by congenital abnormalities of the intestinal tract.

Preventive Measures

While occasional projectile vomiting is not a cause of worry, if it is persistent, it can cause dehydration, fever, injury to the esophagus and stomach, slow growth rate, and sometimes, pneumonia as well. Hence, it is necessary to take your baby to the pediatrician at the earliest. If the doctor rules out the possibility of any serious underlying cause, you can try the following measures to prevent such vomiting.

  • Feed the baby with small amounts of food, but increase the frequency of feeding.
  • The baby should be in an upright position while feeding and for at least twenty minutes after feeding.
  • Gently pat on the baby’s back frequently while feeding, so that he burps. This reduces the gastric pressure in the stomach, which can cause vomiting.
  • Minimize vigorous movements of the baby after feeding and elevate the head of the baby’s bed at 30 degrees.

Projectile vomiting in infants should be monitored carefully and should not be left untreated. In case your baby develops this condition, it is advisable to consult a pediatrician immediately.

Infant Fever After Shots

One of the regular responses of inoculation in newborn children is fever. Despite the fact that guardians don’t this way, comprehend it is an indication that the tyke’s insusceptible framework is getting to be more grounded. Perused on to know more.

Most parents loathe the discomfort that their infants undergo after they get their shots. However, it is important to remember that the advantages of immunization far outweigh its side effects. Infants are born with certain antibodies that fight infection. There are others that they receive from the mother’s milk as they are breastfed. However, the protection from these antibodies are temporary. Hence, even if infant fever bothers you or your child, be assured that vaccines are important to build your child’s immunity against a host of diseases, in future.

The Reason Behind Infant Fever

Vaccines are killed or weakened strains of disease-causing organisms that are introduced into the body. The body recognizes these organisms as foreign bodies. The immune system destroys these organisms and ‘remembers’ them so that the next time the individual is attacked by the organisms naturally, the body fights them back. Rise in temperature of the body is a sign that the body is fighting off the strain of organisms introduced through vaccines. Bacteria and viruses thrive inside the body at temperatures around 98.6°F. High temperature during fever helps to kill these germs. Also the elevated temperatures help the body in producing more white blood cells, antibodies, and other infection-fighting agents. Hence, infant fever after vaccination is just as much desired as is natural.

Reactions of the Body to Vaccines

  • Redness or swelling in the skin where the vaccine has been injected.
  • Soreness or tenderness of the area where the shot was given.
  • Mild to moderate fever.
  • Irritability and fussiness in the infant.
  • Loss of appetite, the baby refuses to drink milk. The baby shows unwillingness towards food.
  • The child may not show any interest in playing.
  • As the body temperature starts to drop, excessive sweating can be noticed. The child may look well then and may start smiling.
  • After getting a nasal spray vaccine, the child may have a runny nose. The child may suffer from congestion or may develop cough.

Infant fever after shots should not set panic in parents. The common reactions that are mentioned above subside in just a couple of days. Actually, it is a sign that the body’s immune system is fighting against the organisms introduced into the body and is preparing the body for future infections. Although these reactions are mild, in very rare cases some infants may develop severe reactions to certain vaccines. Such reactions may manifest in the form of breathing problems, wheezing, hives, skin rashes, weakness, lethargy, seizures, fainting, dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, increased irritability and irregular heartbeat. In case an infant does develop such reactions, a doctor must be immediately called. These reactions are triggered within a few minutes or hours of the shot.

Caring for Your Baby Post a Vaccine Shot

Vaccines are an integral aspect of proper baby care. It is a fact that immunization causes discomfort, but you can’t avoid it. However, there are ways in which parents can reduce the anxiety and pain of their children. Besides the physical pain, shots tend to unsettle children. Give them emotional support by staying close to them. After the doctor is done with giving the shot, take the baby into your arms and press him close against your chest using your arms. This will soothe the baby and give him a sense of security.

Parents need to be careful while handling their infants, especially the area where the injection is given. Avoid contact with that area. In case there is swelling or redness in the spot, dip a clean cloth in ice water and apply it to that area. Not only would this reduce the baby’s pain, but it would also calm the child. Give a few spoons of sugar solution (add a couple of teaspoons of table sugar to 3-4 ounces of water, boil it and let it cool down. Use it when at room temperature) to the baby after immunization as researchers have found that sugar solution has a calming effect on infants.

In case of infant fever after immunization, which is a very common phenomenon, monitor your child’s temperature on a regular basis. Mild to moderate temperature is acceptable. Infants should be given plenty of liquids when they run a temperature. Avoid overdressing kids at such times. A cool cloth can be used to comfort the baby. Also consult your doctor if you are considering giving medicines to your child. To deal with the fussiness of a child who has just received his shots, Tylenol can be given. However, again I strongly advise that parents consult their doctor before administering any medicine to their infant.

Sleep (sufficient rest) plays a significant role in the functioning of the immune system. Studies show that insufficient sleep before or after getting a shot usually leads to a weaker immune response to the vaccine. According to the latest study reports, chances of infants sleeping longer were high when they were vaccinated after 1:30 p.m. And the infants who slept longer after receiving their shots, showed only a slight rise in body temperature over the next 24 hours. More studies are required to confirm the relationship between timing of immunization and immune response; but till then, there is no harm in trying ‘afternoon immunization’ for an infant.

Infant fever after shots is a natural reaction of vaccination. Parents shouldn’t be overly anxious about it. Just try to make the child as comfortable as you can and consult the doctor so that you are sure that you know what is the best for the baby.

At-home Activities for Sick Kids to Keep Them Engaged and Busy

There will be days when your youngster phones in wiped out and you need to contribute, to give solace and care to your sickly tyke. In any case, there will likewise be times when you will need to connect with your little one in some movement to reduce the occasions of him/her inclination wiped out and grumpy. That is the place we come into the photo to help you with certain home exercises.

Children tend to get mighty cranky and clingy, and for most part of the time, get highly irritable when they are smitten by the flu or by any sort of sickness. What they crave for, at such times is, undivided attention from their parents and family members. As a parent, you have to be ready to take on all the duties of caring and fending for the child as well as provide means to keep your child’s mind engaged, so that it takes their mind off the sickness. In situations, when the child is affected with chickenpox or scarlet fever and is forced to stay off the school limits for days on end, it is only but natural for the child to get bored and lethargic. With the help of some activities, you can ensure your child is kept busy in something productive than have him/her get cranky all the time. Besides, it will prevent depressing moods from brewing at home level as well.

Sick-Day Activities for Kids

Your child is on the road to recovery and in the meantime, you are fed up looking at him/her sleeping in front of the television the whole day like a zombie. Agreed, that your child needs some much-needed rest, but that doesn’t mean making him/her highly inactive during the tenure of sickness. Enlisted here are a few activities that you can engage your child with; it will help keep his/her mind diverted as well as give you some free time.

Get a Breath of Fresh Air

Kids love to play outdoors and having to sit at home all day will add up to their crankiness and irritability. Allow them some time daily to soak up some essential vitamin D and breathe in some fresh air; this will help make them feel better as well as speed up their recuperating process.

Create a Treasure Cove

Throw around a few pillows and create a treasure cove for you and your child to rest during the daytime. To make it more interesting for your child, stack the fortress with books, puzzles and movie DVDs. Dress up your child (only if he/she is feeling up to the mark) and treat him/her like a true prince/princess; just playing this game will definitely make your child feel better and will surely take away the sickness blues.

Bring Cheer

Do not allow your child to get the sickness blues; instead keep boredom away with some games they will enjoy. Just to see your baby smile, try ‘horsing’ around. I can guarantee you that your child won’t show a hint of boredom with this activity. The mere presence of a smiling face can cheer up your sick child and keep the spirits soaring, by simply being there.

Hobby Ideas

A good move will be to get your child involved in your hobbies (the one’s you enjoyed as a kid!). Take out that old treasure box you have hidden in the attic and get your child to spot the different types of coins/stamps/pens that you have collected over the years. You never know your child may carry forward that legend one fine day. Probably, you could team up this activity with a gist of how you acquired the particular stamp or coin.

Become a Dummy

Children love toys for the mere reason that the toys allow them to try out stuff with them without complaining. For a change, play a dummy with your kid, and boost your child’s creative streak. So what if you end up looking like a clown who has run away from the local circus? At least you’d have brought cheer to your child’s face.

Paper Scissor Alert

Snip, snip, snip. There you go; give your child some colorful papers and a scissor and let him/her unleash their apparently active minds. Help out with making paper men and lanterns and use it to decorate the house. Ask your child to help out with decorating the living room or any other room with these paper cutouts. It will keep your child engaged in the activity as well as keep their crankiness at bay.

Paper Scissor Alert

If your child’s not too comfortable with scissors and cutting, then simply hand some crayons and color pencils/pens and ask him/her to prepare greetings. After all, playing with colors makes the mood vibrant, and there is absolutely no harm if the child is sitting quietly and coloring his/her way to glory.

Play with Toys

Leave your child alone for a brief period of time and let him/her play with soft toys. One of the observations made by many parents is that, allowing the child to play with toys puts them on a faster road to recovery. Besides, there’s an unspoken comfort when it comes to cuddling up with soft toys even when you’ve surpassed the age limit to play with one.

Cookie in the Kitchen

How nice to have your sweet little cookie help you out in the kitchen! With your child’s help, prepare something he/she likes to eat. This way, the food you prepare won’t go for a waste and the two of you will have a nice time together. Allow them to have the upper hand here, as that will ensure they do not get cranky.

Walk Down Memory Lane

Revisit some of your fondest memories with your child by taking out old albums and scanning pictures. You can even create a mosaic of the best pictures with his/her help and use it to decorate the house. Another activity that you can do with them around is, create a music CD or DVD with your child’s selection of songs. This will surely keep his/her spirit soaring for a long time.

Entertain with Muppets

Bored, eh? We will see that you won’t be anymore. One fun activity you and your child can try is make dolls out of paper foil, wool and socks. Once you’re done, ask your child to narrate a story with these dolls. You will have a nice time making them and then listening to interesting stories of your child.

Play with your Kid

Daddy dear, make some time for your precious little one and race a toy car please. Play with your child; it could be video games or simple car races, but your child will enjoy this activity the most. You can even build a rail at home; this way, you can deliver goods to your child and he/she can return some back to you. Indulge in some board games if your child is not feeling up to the mark to move around the house.

Lots of Pampering

How very nice if someone sings, ‘You are my sunshine, my very sunshine …’ Take a guess at what will happen; your child will begin feeling better almost instantly. Now for that little smile, you can indulge in excess pampering, can’t you? It worked for me though!

Tuck Me Tight

Remember that your child needs rest; make it compulsory to keep time aside for rest time. During this time, you could tuck your child to bed with a nice little story or song. Cuddle up close with your child and give him/her your undivided love and attention; that’s one of the best activities your child will love doing.

A little “pick-me-up” and “tuck-me-tight” time won’t take away anything from you or your pocket; and the best part is that it comes free of cost. Before signing off, I’d like to wish your child a speedy recovery; take care!