Category: Child Healthcare

August 6, 2018

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-by Dr. Lawrence Oshiogwe


How many times have you disregarded suspected health issues with your kids just because you think such are normal for their ages? Like the persistently irritated infant running some bit of temperature that you presumed is a sign of teething? And how often have you resorted to self-medication in treating some health-related issues in your child because you “felt’ you knew what was wrong?

We all do it many times or have done it severally; but how wrong have we always been… and most importantly how dangerous a habit this actually is. My meaning of kids here covers all children below the puberty age: from neonates to toddlers and all the way to pre-teens and adolescents.

By virtue of being kids, these younger ones rely on us adults to nurture and protect them. At some stage, they cannot express themselves, and at other stages they cannot sufficiently explain themselves; so, when they are affected by infirm conditions, it is expected of us to help them fight off ailments and regain good health.

The best way to go is to first understand their situation, and the best way to start is to get them to qualified medical personnel instead of applying unprofessional guesswork that may put them in greater jeopardy.

You may be right that certain conditions such as little temperature or frequent eating is nothing to worry about. However, some of the symptoms you think are normal could portend a high risk to your child’s health, either in the short or long term. Thus, you may run into problems if you can’t figure out that margin between the normal nature of kids, and the red flags signaling something more serious.

In addition, those signs that you assumed you know could be entirely signaling something else. Thus, your self-medication could be making a bad situation worse. Therefore, when it comes to kids, please NEVER GUESS and NEVER SELF-MEDICATE A CHILD.

So, to help you take notice of these signs of health danger, I have outlined the most common six of them. The article will expose you to various consequences of these symptoms you are not aware of. It will also prepare you to take the right steps once you find out about them.


Sleeping Disorders

So, your child is sleeping significantly more or less than you deem normally appropriate. Wait, before you start off with the usual assumptions of laziness or exhaustion, and exert all energy on correcting the behavior, keep it in mind that this may not be medically unrelated. And It’s best you start your corrective measures with appropriate medical evaluation.

Dr. Charles Ezeh of St. Ives with a family and their baby

 It’s not always laziness, exhaustion or boredom. Children with upper respiratory tract obstruction, obesity, anxiety and depression drill into sleep for longer hours than other kids.

Most sleeping disorders are attributed to psychiatric and emotional disorders. If this is becoming frequent, and non-responsive to behavioral attempts at treatments, you should check with the doctor before taking further medical steps.


Weight Issues

Suddenly you might realize that your kid is losing or gaining weight. Either way, it will be obvious enough for you to notice.

Interestingly, I have come to notice that most parents take pleasure in their children putting on weight: I have heard them justify children adding weight as just developing the kid’s stature, signs of good feeding by them the parents etc. As such, they take pride in this development especially among other parents. On the other hand, some others will claim losing weight is related to a child growing taller.

The truth is that none of those justifications should cause conspicuously significant changes in a child’s weight, and I will explain how such weight issues can affect your kids, negatively.

First, adding immense weight is moving your kid towards obesity, and that clearly says something is wrong. It could have been caused by poor diet (which parents mistake for good feeding), genetics, sedentary lifestyle or stress.

Irrespective of the reason, a child piling on the weight, if not curtailed, could lead to diabetics, heart diseases, joint pain and asthma. And likewise, that extreme weight loss in children could be symptomatic of one serious disease or another?

So, when you notice that your kid is increasing or reducing in weight significantly, you need to speak to a pediatrician or any medical practitioner as early as possible.


Mood Swings and Inconsistency of Behavior

Children’s health magazine, Healthy Children, reported that mood swings in kids could stem from dysthymic disorder, major depressive disorder (MDD), and bipolar disorder. These will also be characterised by chronic low-grade depression, persistent irritability, and low self-esteem.

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All of these affect kids’ behaviour immensely. So, please don’t be quick to dismiss any of these signs as normal tantrum.

You might just be seeing the mood swings, but without a closer look or a medical examination, you wouldn’t understand the underlining issue(s). Poor appetite or overeating, insomnia, fatigue low self-esteem and poor concentration are other associated symptoms you should look out for.

Most parents make the mistake of passing these over as a mere ‘child’ thing. However, it could degenerate into total mental breakdown for the kid. And unfortunately, the longer it stays untreated, the more complicated it becomes.

What are you still waiting for? You can speak to one of our expert child health physicians right away.


High Fever

Probably because high temperature is quite common on daily basis and accepted that you shouldn’t freak out each time your child’s temperature is high, it is not regarded as a situation worthy of serious attention. Hey, remember we are discussing children here who might not be able to accurately express themselves, so you need to keep an eye out for the extreme points and/or other accompanying signs.


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When you notice that the temperature is accompanied by fatigue, poor appetite, cough and sore throats, it’s high time you visit the doctor. In no time, and if you delay in treating it, ear pain, vomiting, seizure and diarrhea could join the symptoms.

There is a stage worse than rising temperature that you shouldn’t allow your kid’s condition to get to, as then it might be too serious. Once the first line of symptoms come, get your child attended to, and treated by relevant medical personnel.


Frequent Sore Throats

If your child has runny nose, cough, sore ears, tiredness and a poor appetite, don’t merge everything into cold and catarrh. It could also have an element of fever and sore throat.

The sore throat is not the main problem here. It might have been a symptom of flu, glandular fever or streptococcal infection, all of which are extremely uncomfortable for a child.

So, when again you find these symptoms running along with sore throat, don’t wait another minute before you call the doctor.


Breathing Problems

I know that cold and cough cause difficulty in breathing, but when this is happening repeatedly, whether there is cold or not, you need to seek medical attention.

Health encyclopedia,, lists viral infections, bacterial infections, asthma, allergies, passive smoking, exposure to pollution, blockage of the airway by an inhaled object or cystic fibrosis, as issues that could affect breathing in children.

Given its very important role in sustaining life, you should be proactive in reporting any breathing issue to a doctor. You can’t be sure of what’s actually wrong until you seek medical help.

Children are delicate creatures that must be properly monitored, nurtured and cared for, more so as they rely on us adults to help them navigate the rough terrain of life called growing up, therefore, you need specialist child nurses and pediatricians to thoroughly check on your child’s health and ensure any symptom such as discussed above or others do not escalate and become fatal.

And that’s exactly what we offer at St Ives Specialist Hospital.

We seek to help you have a perfectly healthy family, and your child’s health is a big part of that. Our pediatric practice is not restricted to children delivered in our family clinics, we are happy to help with your child, regardless of their age. Contact us now to book your appointment.


About the author:

Dr. Lawrence Oshiogwe is an expert Child Health Physician and Head of Pediatrics at St. Ives Specialist Hospital, Ikeja. You can book an appointment for consultation with him or any of our specialists at