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At times, parents might notice their child (who’s always full of energy) showing signs of lethargy. Many just write it off as a phase, but as a parent, you should be concerned because lethargy is not a result of just missing a few hours of sleep. Lethargy manifests itself in a number of behaviours, ranging from continuous exhaustion to being in an immobile state to overwhelming tiredness. Children with lethargy Show a lack of interest in activities which, under normal circumstances, would have excited the child.
Sometimes, the cause can be deeper rooted, and following are the reasons behind lethargy –
#1 Lack of Sleep
This is the most obvious reason behind lethargy. Lack of sufficient hours of sleep can result in continuous fatigue due to which concentrating on studies, and other such activities become a difficult task. A minimum 8 hours of sleep is essential for a growing child.
This happens when your child does not receive the proper amounts of minerals, proteins and other vital nutrients in order to produce energy. You should always monitor your child’s diet to ensure that their body is getting all the sufficient nutrients, because lack of any nutrient could lead to physical or mental problems. Healthy meals at proper time intervals are important, so don’t let them skip breakfasts or let them snack on junk foods.
Lethargy is considered a symptom of anaemia, where there is a considerable reduction in the number of RBCs (red blood cells). These cells are assigned the task of delivering oxygen to different parts of the body, the lack of which causes the child to become lethargic. Deficiency of iron in the blood is the most common reason behind anaemia.
It’s rare to see Indian children suffer from depression (pressure from parents or peers is more likely). Even though depression is a mental condition, it has an effect on the child’s health in the form of drainage of energy, making them feel lethargic.
Meningitis is an infection which causes inflammation of membranes that protect the brain and spinal cord from damage. In such cases, children might experience fever, sleep, lethargy and headaches. They will show reduced interest in physical activities too.
Fever is one of the most common reasons of lethargy, which occurs as a result of viral infections. Here, children usually just lay in bed and restrict physical activities to a bare minimum.
Lethargy in Babies
When it comes to babies, lethargy is harder to diagnose. But do keep in check your child’s sleeping hours, and if they sleep for longer time periods, seem exhausted and less enthusiastic about playing with their toys even after waking up from their sleep; it can be because they’re suffering from lethargy. Drowsiness is also a sign of lethargy.
Do get your child checked by a doctor because, he might be suffering from pneumonia, thyroid disorders, kidney dysfunction and even liver problems.