Watch out for possible underlying physical problems ailing your toddler
An inattentive or lazy child might not always have psychological reasons to blame. Watch out also for some underlying, yet overlooked, physical problems ailing the toddler.
It has often been found that as parents ready their toddlers for school or play way, the emphasis lays more on the psychological preparations required. Little attention is paid to the physical readiness and health screening of a child before ushering him or her into a new environment.
It is however, important for parents and educators to understand that certain underlying health issues in kids become prominent only as they near their school going age.
Child development and screening Trivia:
It is not uncommon to find a child who has just entered kindergarten to be withdrawn, aloof, cranky, distracted or tired. Yet, before we as a parents or teachers, start labelling a child as inattentive, lazy, disinterested or dull; and before we start finding the psychological solution to the problem, it is very important to identify or rule out any physical deficiency the child might be suffering from.
While some problems could start to surface as the child turns three or four; others may develop after settling in school for a year or even more. As parents one is more accustomed to the child’s habits and is quick to notice any physical or psychological change.
Here are a few helpful steps in identifying physical problems in toddlers and kindergarteners:
- A good school should have a screening test where a child’s cognitive as well as physical abilities are tested. As parents and educators, observe children as they hop, run, jump and sort objects out.
- If this screening is not organised by the school, parents must consult their paediatrician.
- Insist on early eye sight tests and hearing tests.
- Get your child’s haemoglobin count tested for anaemia.
There are certain never to be ignored symptoms in kids, which one must always keep in mind. These could be an indication of some minor or severe health problems the child might be going through. All parents and teachers need to react immediately to any of the following signs in toddlers:
- In the playfield: Identify and closely observe children who have problem in running, jumping, throwing and catching.
- In the class or at home: watch out for symptoms such as drowsiness, headache, watery eyes, pale skin, bad breath and frequent sore throat, coughing and sneezing.
- While studying: observe the child if she shows disinterest in work requiring good eyesight; confuses similar shades of the same colour or similar objects of different colours; unnecessarily squints or creases eyes while focusing; hold a book too far or too near while reading and complains of blurred or hazy pictures.
- While interacting: observe the child for hearing difficulties if the child is unable to follow verbal instructions properly; leans forward to listen to someone talk; turns head to one side while listening; speaks in unusually loud or low voice and stays withdrawn.
Some Helpful parenting tips:
- Talk to your child as much as possible.
- Inculcate the habit of freely discussing all physical and emotional concerns without fear of rejection or reprimand.
- Stay in regular contact with your toddler’s teachers.
- Insist with your child’s pediatrician for regular physical screenings as per the developmental schedule.
- Encourage physical activities without overburdening your child’s routine.
- Make sure your child is not subjected to loud noises, frequent cold and cough and severe medications to avoid early ear damage.
- Know that ear buds should not be used to clean your kid’s ears.
- Restrict TV time to just two hours every day.
- Trust your instincts and take clues from little things.
Identifying and solving your child’s physical problems without manifesting them into a psychological issue, could not only be a huge leap towards strengthening the foundation of her good health; but, also building the little kindergartener’s self confidence and her confidence in you.