Parenting Today: Warning Signs in Children that Can Signal Health Concerns 

Ask any parent and they’ll tell you, their children are their lives. And any parent knows the pain and heartache that hits you when you see your children suffer any type of injury or illness.

Watching our kids suffer is painful, and many times children can’t tell us when something is wrong. Most often this is because they simply can’t verbally tell us, or they don’t know what’s bothering them.

Thankfully, there are a few key indicators that parents can look to if they suspect something to be amiss regarding the health of a child. You might have to pay close attention to some signs, but others are much more evident once you know what to look for.

Often, an illness won’t manifest right away. These things can take time, but there’s no reason to wait until the problem can’t be corrected. If you do indeed start to notice some of these signs and symptoms in your children, it’s important that you find a good doctor to provide your child the best care possible. Here, we’ll explore a few ways you can tell that something might be wrong with your child’s health.

Hearing Loss

Perhaps one of the most difficult issues to diagnose is hearing loss in children. In fact, research has suggested that children who suffer from early childhood hearing loss have difficulty in academics, especially concerning reading and math skills. 

Additionally, a child’s basic language and speaking skills can also be greatly affected by hearing loss. 

We humans need to hear words in order to mimic speech at a young age. And if we cannot hear even ourselves, this makes language and speech much more difficult to develop. Even as adults, if we lose our hearing, we can develop significant problems.

For example, the United States military issues 3M earplugs for service members in combat which were ultimately found to be defective. Now, veterans are filing lawsuits for compensation due to developing tinnitus and severe hearing loss

If you notice your child speaking loudly, struggling to form words, or if they’re unresponsive when you call them, these could be indicators of childhood hearing loss.

Vision Loss

Unlike hearing loss, losing vision is a bit easier to detect in children as there are several key indicators.

Children often don’t tell us when something is wrong, but if a child begins to have impaired vision, they’re usually pretty vocal about it in most cases. 

Some signs to look for that may indicate vision loss in children include: 

  • Scratching or rubbing the eyes frequently 
  • Frequent headaches
  • Covering one eye and squinting 
  • Complaints of pain behind the eyes 
  • Holding books close
  • Reduced attention

If a child begins to complain about his eyes, this is something that you should have checked out immediately. Though vision normally deteriorates over time, when this happens at a young age, it could be a sign of a serious medical condition that needs to be professionally treated. 

Mental Health Issues

Our mental health is necessary for living a full life and for interacting with others in society. When our mental health suffers, we can develop habits or behaviors that are odd when compared to others.

When a child develops mental health issues, this can be confused with the many “phases” that all children go through. However, there are a few key indicators that certain behavior might be a sign of a deeper problem at hand, not part of a phase.

Many children will begin to withdraw considerably if they’re dealing with mental health issues. Other indicators could include odd eating behavior, depression, a general lack of confidence, issues concentrating, lethargy, or a disinterest in activities that the child once enjoyed.

Though most of these indicators are quite subtle, they can worsen over time if ignored. 

As a parent, your child’s health should be top priority. And even though many signs may not be evident, if you begin to notice signs of odd behavior that could be related to health issues, you should take them to see a pediatrician just to be on the safe side.

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