Brief illness among children is not usually serious even when it is deemed severe. Long term illness, on the other hand, may do a great deal of physical and psychological damage to a child. It drains a child’s strength and also affects physiological development. Whether a child’s will be physiological development affected depends upon the length and severity of the illness as well as the child’s developmental stage and when the illness occurs. Equally serious is the psychological damage cause when an illness persists. Preschool children usually cannot understand why they are so sick despite adult efforts to explain what the illness is. Some childhood fears have their origins in prolong illnesses among children.
For these reasons, parents/caregivers should closely observe their child’s behavior for clues with regards to their health. Remember young children cannot express themselves or describe what is wrong when they are ill.
Parents/caregivers should check for:
1. Listlessness, complaints, and being uninterested in things and activities he or she enjoys.
2. Poor appetite for several meals.
3. Restlessness during sleep periods.
4. Over aggressiveness.
5. Crying more than usual.
One change in a behavior should not generate alarms. Two or more observable changes would be reliable evidence. If a parent/caregiver notices any of the above conditions, document the day of the month, time and condition. Should observable patterns exist, it would be wise to call the child’s physician and report to her/him what is observed. Allow the doctor to make a decision for the need for further care. The chances of a child’s speedy recovery odds are great when he or she is the care of a doctor.
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