When we recognize an obvious symptom in our children, we are quick to take them to their pediatrician. We may schedule a visit due to a developed fever or ongoing cough.When the symptoms are apparent, we are quick to react, however, it is sometimes the less visible symptoms are the ones we should have our pediatrician check out. This is why we are sharing seven unobvious signs that your child may need to see a doctor.
It is normal for our infants to have hair loss as the scalp of their head is still growing. However, if we notice bald patches forming on our baby’s head, then it may be time to schedule an appointment. Medical causes of hair loss in children include tinea capitis (ringworm of the scalp), alopecia areata, trichotillomania, and more. To find out the source of the hair loss it is necessary to see your local pediatrician.
Generally, moles on our children’s skin is nothing to worry about. Moles often grow and change as our children grow and change. Some moles may even fade away. In cases where the mole is rapidly changing, has become a dome-shape, contains a jagged border, has different colors, is bleeding, or there are many moles, then it may be time to schedule an appointment with a pediatrician to help diagnose any potential problems.
Mood and behavior swings
We’ve all seen our children display a wide range of emotions. When these emotions swing like a pendulum, it’s possible our children could be displaying early childhood depression. Other signs include:
- Changes in appetite -- either increased appetite or decreased
- Changes in sleep -- sleeplessness or excessive sleep
- Continuous feelings of sadness or hopelessness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Fatigue and low energy
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Impaired thinking or concentration
- Increased sensitivity to rejection
- Irritability or anger
Parents and caretakers are the experts on their children. If it seems our children are persistently sad or hopeless and it is affecting their relationships, then it may be time to schedule an assessment to help provide tools and coping mechanisms.
Most hospitals screen a baby’s hearing before sending them home with a newborn hearing test. Sometimes, hearing loss develops later on and parents and caregivers are the first to notice when our children are not reacting to sounds as we think they should. Hearing problems may be the result of illness or injury or may be genetically inherited. If your child has not been given a hearing test or you noticed a change in their behavior toward sounds, then it is time to have your pediatrician examine the root cause.
Pediatricians recommend making a splash with water by providing our toddlers 2 to 4 cups a day, 5 cups for 4-8 years, 7 to 8 cups for 9-13 years, and 8 to 11 cups for 14 years and older. If our children are active in sports or running around, providing two to three more cups of water will help against dehydration.
If our children begin to drink frequently and request more drinks then this may be an early sign of diabetes especially when connected with weight loss, fatigue, blurred vision, vomiting, abdominal pain, and/or frequent skin infections.
Most of the time snoring is a noisy nuisance that subsides as our children’s airways grow and they learn to swallow excess saliva. Snoring can become a health risk when it interferes with our children’s sleep and it may be a sign of enlarged tonsils or structural abnormalities. When you feel concerned over your child’s snoring, trust your instinct and set up an appointment with their pediatrician.
Increase in head size
Soft spots are known as fontanelles and the two fontanelles on our children’s head may vary in size. Within six weeks of our children’s lives, their posterior fontanelle (soft spot on the back of their head) bones will meet and fuse to close the soft spots. Within the first 10 to 18 months, their anterior fontanelle (top of the head soft spot) will close.
Each child grows differently and they may take longer to close their soft spots. If you notice that one of their fontanelles is sunken or bulging, it may be time to check in with your pediatrician to ensure it is not a symptom of a serious illness.