Toddlers are the most difficult lot to handle. They are extremely curious about everything and are always on their toes to explore the world around them. These kids have astonishingly high energy levels, which need to be properly channelized. However, as parents we must always look out for signs of hyperactivity in children. At the same time, one must not mistake the lively and cheerful behavior of some toddlers for hyperactivity. Here are some signs that will help you to detect hyperactive behavior in toddlers.
Symptoms of Hyperactivity in Toddlers
Hyperactive toddlers often misbehave intentionally however, it is important to understand if this misbehavior is out of hyperactivity or ignorance. Given below are some signs to identify a hyperactive toddler.
- Hyperactive toddlers often have eating or sleeping disorders.
- They are unable to relax and are always fidgety.
- Hyperactive toddlers give a tough time to their mothers while feeding.
- They are unable to participate in group activities of kids.
- They may show willful misbehavior.
- They may have a tendency to intrude others conversation, games etc.
- They may not follow rules or may not listen when directed to do so.
- They talk a bit too much for their age.
- Excessive running around, crying and throwing tantrums are some common signs of hyperactivity.
- Toddlers of school age are always out of their seat and find it difficult to complete their homework.
- They may show an extremely attention seeking behavior.
There can be numerous causes of hyperactive behavior in toddlers, some of them are as follows:
- Alcohol or smoking during pregnancy can induce ADHD symptoms.
- Hyperactivity may arise due to a brain injury in the fetal state or later.
- Hyperactivity often runs in the family, therefore genetic composition may cause hyperactivity in toddlers.
- Pollutants like lead also contribute to hyperactivity.
- Certain foods aggravate the hyperactivity in children. These include foods that are excessively sugary, over processed with food additives and other chemical ingredients.
Diagnosing ADD/ADHD in toddlers is a difficult task as you ought to know if the symptoms exhibited by your child are that of general hyperactivity or ADHD. Doctors often advise parents to go slow and not get worked up by their child's hyperactivity. ADHD is rarely diagnosed in kids under age 5. Some possible signs of ADHD may be actually harmless and only a result of high energy levels in a kid. If you succeed in channelizing this energy properly, then you may be able to minimize such hyperactive behavior. If your child shows hyperactivity but usually has no problem following rules or adhering discipline, then she probably does not have ADD/ADHD. However, if your child shows most of the symptoms mentioned above, then you ought to take steps to control her hyperactive, impulsive behavior. Parents must not think that their child will eventually grow out of ADHD, because ADHD often accompanies into adulthood. Medications may keep the symptoms of ADHD in check and help an individual lead a normal life.
Hyperactivity associated with ADHD is often diagnosed when the parents, who are concerned about child's accident prone nature or poor academic performance, take him to a professional. After assessing the condition of the child, the course of the ADHD treatment is determined. It may either be behavioral therapy or some medications can be given to calm the child. ADHD medications such as Cylert (pemoline), Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine), or Ritalin (methylphenidate), which normally act as stimulants have a calming effect on hyperactive children. These drugs assist the child to focus properly and eventually improve her academic performance. Behavioral therapy, however, needs a lot of patience and support from parents and teachers. Alteration in the diet plan of hyperactive child also shows good results. Parents of hyperactive toddlers may also choose to opt for homeopathy, herbal remedies for ADHD, acupuncture or any other alternative medicine. The effects of treatment are evident within 3 - 6 weeks. The medications can be tapered off when the child consistently shows controlled behavior.
Hyperactivity can be pretty traumatic for kids as well as parents. Not only such behavior makes the child extremely unstable, but it also becomes a cause of social embarrassment for the parents. Nonetheless, it is important to identify the cause of hyperactivity and go for the best possible treatment to ensure proper mental and physical development of the child.