Pay close attention to your little one’s changing behaviour to narrow down the reason for his increased tiredness

Does your little darling seem to slump her shoulders every time you go to the supermarket? Does he tend to drag his feet when you ask him to come for dinner? While you might think that your child is probably throwing some sort of a tantrum, there could be an underlying condition that is causing lethargy.

Here, we look at some reasons that may explain your child’s perpetual tiredness and aversion to doing anything:

1. Irregular sleep patterns

More often than not, lethargy in children can be explained by their lack of sleep. Your little one should ideally be sleeping soundly for nine to 12 hours. A lack of proper sleep in the night can make your kid drowsy and he may fall asleep at school – unable to pay attention in class as he experiences fatigue throughout the day.

So, make sure you get him to bed, instead of letting him stay up to watch his late-night cartoon show. Read to him until he falls asleep. He will be fresh and energetic and ready to take on anything the next day!

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2. Poor diet

Save for a precious few, most kids are fussy eaters. However, there are ways to get around their picky eating habits. As parents, you know that your child needs his daily nutrition to undertake his daily activities. However, their eating habits can hinder the execution of their bodily functions and make them lethargic.

A balanced diet is always the best solution, as it contains the appropriate amount of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre essential for your kid. Make sure his food appeals to him; consider using bright coloured veggies, and visually appealing foods.

3. Stress or anxiety

If you think stress is only an adult problem, you have another thing coming. If your child becomes disinterested in things around him, keeps to himself and hardly sleeps, it’s probably time you had a chat with him. Something at school could be bothering him, or he could have had a fight with his friend.

Be a good listener, and tell your little one that he will always have your support.

4. Hormonal issues

If your child is almost in his teens, his lethargy could be due to hormonal changes. Moreover,  over-secretion or under secretion of thyroid levels can lead to lethargy and narcolepsy. Such a child will exhibit signs of acute lethargy and prefer being left to their own devices. An active lifestyle, as well as dietary changes, can help control these hormonal fluctuations. It is best, however, to seek a doctor’s opinion first.

5. Dehydration

Most children do not keep a count of how much water they drink over the course of the day. However, as a parent, you need to ensure that your child hydrates himself. Dehydration is one of the most prominent causes of fatigue amongst kids. It also affects  mood – making them irritable and cranky. On average, your child should be drinking at least five to eight glasses of water daily to avoid dehydration. If your child pulls faces, consider replacing some of the water with freshly-squeezed fruit juices.

6. Anaemia

Anaemia is a condition where the human body fails to produce adequate healthy red blood cells for the transport of oxygen. The condition occurs due to iron deficiency. Iron is an integral component in oxygen transport and an oxygen shortage due to anaemia inevitably manifests in tiredness and exhaustion.

Tweak your child’s diet and encourage him to eat more greens, beans, animal proteins and dried fruit. These foods are rich sources of iron and will help quell the iron deficit.

7. Weight issues

Obese children are far more prone to showing signs of lethargy than skinny kids. So, if your little one just seems to gain weight uncontrollably, you should be concerned. Obesity in children is a leading cause of sleep apnoea and diabetes. Kids who are underweight, on the other hand, have less muscle mass and tend to exert and exhaust themselves quickly. Make sure your child eats well so that he can maintain a healthy weight appropriate for his age group.

Kids are unlikely to be able to explain the cause of their lethargy, and they aren’t trying to fake it either. So, pay close attention to your little one’s changing behaviour to narrow down the reason for his increased tiredness.

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.