Sadness, anger, and irritation – these are emotions that are not always part of your view of health. These are normal feelings that everyone experiences, so if you observe them in your child, you might also think that nothing’s wrong. When they occur longer or more frequently than usual, however, or when signs of unhappiness or frustration are too prominent, they could already be a significant behavioral health issue.
Impact of Behavioral Health Issues
As a parent, you need to understand that your child’s behavior can affect several facets of his or her development and health. When a child is too aggressive, easily distracted, or depressed, learning may not be optimal. The child may not participate in various day-to-day activities because of social anxieties or even stress. Additionally, effects on the physical health, like frequent lack of energy or sleepiness, can be apparent.
The consequences are graver if the child gets bullied because of behavioral problems, or if the problems are caused by bullying. A British study, recently published in the journal Psychological Medicine, shows that adults with a history of bullying (occasional or frequent) are more likely to be overweight or develop obesity, which could put individuals at risk of serious health problems, like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
The Importance of Awareness
In a survey of parents of toddlers and teens, researchers found that of the thousands of respondents, around half tend to ignore mentioning unusual anxiety and severe temper tantrums in visits to pediatrics specialists. Serious issues, like depression, learning deficiencies, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), can be missed or mismanaged because of this omission. The authors of the report advised parents to never ignore those signs and to discuss them with a qualified physician.
Similarly, you should not disregard extreme shyness or failure to get along with kids at school. In some cases, the child may be experiencing social anxieties or a lack of confidence that can be addressed with basic talk therapies with a pediatric doctor. In rare situations, the behavioral issue may need to be managed with medications.
These facts make it important to detect and address childhood behavioral health issues promptly. A pediatrician in Littleton, such as the doctors of Focus on Kids Pediatrics, can tackle these concerns and other health issues with you and your child. Your visits to the doctor won’t always have to be about obvious health conditions, but they can also be simple checkups to ensure that the child’s overall health is well-maintained.
Why Parents Shouldn’t Ignore Their Kids’ Behavioral Issues, LiveScience
Bullied as a Kid, Obese as a Grown-up?, HealthDay
More U.S. Kids Getting Mental Health Treatment, U.S. News & World Report