Your child is tired. What are the different types of fatigue depending on the age of the child? Why are children tired? How to manage this fatigue? The pediatrician’s answers.
The fatigue manifests itself differently depending on whether it is a infant, from a child tokindergarten, at theprimary school or to middle School. Knowing how to recognize the signs allows you to act quickly. Here they are !
How does it manifest itself? ” By one modification of eating behavior, a somnolence, a less desire for a relationship with the adult », Explains Dr Jean Lalau Keraly, pediatrician. If this change in behavior lasts a few days, do not hesitate to consult the doctor baby to take stock.
Child fatigue in kindergarten
Whether in small section, medium or large section, the days of a little one from 3 to 5-6 years old are busy! ” A certain passivity at the school noticed by the teacher, a isolation from the rest of his comrades, or a refusal to play with other children are signs that should alert ”, warns the pediatrician.
Child fatigue in elementary school
Fatigue can manifest itself in several ways: “A drop in school performance, headache, stomach aches or some sleeping troubles are signs that should not be overlooked, ”says the pediatrician.
We find symptoms in kindergarten and elementary school children. “The tired teenager may have a drop in school results, he may feel a certain lassitude, want to fall back on him », Explains Dr Lalau Keraly.
What are the causes of fatigue in children?
The child is not a miniature adult. If, in adults, the cause of asthenia is often organic, this is not the case in children.
In the latter, fatigue is mainly functional or psychological, specifies the pediatrician.
A rhythm of life too intense
The days spent at school require a great deal of concentration to the child to fully understand and memorize the different learnings. His school days can be even longer if the child is dropped off at the nursery in the morning and also remains at that of the evening.
Besides school, there are extra-curricular activities which, if they are very (even too many!) numerous can tire the child.
It is important to let children have fun on their own, do nothing or even get bored, recalls the pediatrician.
Too short nights
“A child needs sleep between 8 hours and 12 hours per night, recalls Dr Lalau Keraly. His number of hours of sleep is sufficient if he wakes up spontaneously and in good shape. ”
But too late sunsets due, in particular, to too much time spent in front of video games, the television or on the cellphone, cause fatigue from lack of sleep.
A stressful family environment
Of disputes frequent between parents, a mother or a father suffering from depression, a too much pressure resting on the shoulders of the child in terms of his academic results will generate stress, of the’anxiety and therefore fatigue.
An organic cause: repeated infections
Nasopharyngitis, ear infections, gastroenteritis… tire the child, just like an enlarged adenoids (large adenoids) which leads to snoring, sleep apnea.
That’s why it’s important to go to your child’s room when he’s sleeping and watch him sleep, advocates Dr Lalau Keraly. This allows certain points to be checked and discussed with the doctor.
A chronic disease likeasthma, especially if it is unbalanced, is also a source of fatigue.
What to prepare before the doctor’s appointment?
Before going to the medical consultation, it is important to prepare it well in order to give all the useful information to the doctor. We will note :
– How long has her child been tired?
– Is it contemporaneous with a viral pathology?
– Is the child short of breath or not?
– Does he complain of joint or muscle pain?
– Does he sleep with his mouth open? …
What tests can be ordered in case of chronic fatigue?
After discussion with the parents, the doctor proceeds to a complete clinical examination. “He also checks systematically the weight and height curve, any breakage that should alert, warns the pediatrician. He may, if deemed necessary, prescribe Additional tests and, in particular, a blood count. But also various research:
– A determination of ferritin: to check that the child is not anemic.
– A CRP assay to check that there is no inflammation or infection.
– An assay of transaminases in order to detect possible hepatitis.
– A serology of the mononucleosis infectious disease, toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus … Major causes of fatigue
” A pulmonary radiography can also be requested in order to search for a primary tuberculosis infection, with an intra-dermal reaction to tuberculin », Adds the pediatrician. The BCG vaccine no longer mandatory since 2007.
“In case of weight loss of the child, it will be necessary to go further in the additional examinations”, warns Dr. Lalau Keraly.
It all depends, of course, on its cause. “In two-thirds of cases, it is functional fatigue,” says Dr Lalau Keraly. The child will still be prescribed a cure of 15 days to a month of one polyvitamin complex, as well as a bulb of vitamin D twice a year.”
How to treat organic fatigue
Treatment of the cause will be enough to see it disappear: removal of adenoids in case of snoring, sleep apnea; iron order in case ofanemia.
The latter had decreased thanks to growth milks, but it tends to come back with the vegan lobbies, warns the pediatrician, while the consumption of red meat is essential in children.
How to deal with psychological fatigue
It often requires parents to take matters into their own hands! How? ‘Or’ What ?
– Ensure that their child goes to bed early enough, with regular bedtime and wake-up times.
– Make sure that” he eats balanced and varied in order to have sufficient intake of proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.
– Limit the number of extracurricular activities so that his schedule is not overloaded and that he can relax.
– Consult a psychologist if necessary for the child, or even consider family therapy in the event of parental conflicts.
– Make sure that the child is not a victim of school harassment.
Are growing pains tiring?
Growing pains mainly occur the night, at the children from 3 to 8 years old. It is often after having played a lot or done sports that the child complains about it.
It’s about a muscle fatigue which passes with massages and the taking of analgesics of the paracetamol type, and especially a good hydration.
It is the same in the adolescent who, in 5 years, grows from 20 to 25 cm and put on weight from 20 to 25 kg! These growth spurts tire him out.
Any persistent bone or muscle pain requires a complete clinical examination.