Seven toddler health concerns

Limited vocabulary may prevent your toddler from telling you that he isn’t feeling well. Here are some common health concerns to look for.

By Arun Sharma

Seven toddler health concerns

It is important to keep a close watch on your toddler’s behaviour and general health. Here are some toddler health concerns that you should watch out for.

  1. Head bumps: Head bumps are common in toddlers. Most of the time, they get over the pain caused by minor injuries to the head, but sometimes an injury can be serious. Signs of a severe injury include vomiting within a few hours of the injury, dizziness, disorientation, slurred speech and sleepiness. Rush your child to the doctor if you notice any of these signs.
  2. Ear infections: Ear infection in toddlers is as common as fever. However, there are some easy ways of knowing if your child has an ear infection. The most common sign is the child grabbing or tugging at his ears. You may also detect a foul odour or drainage from the infected ear. Ear infections mostly occur after a bout of common cold or sinus infection.
  3. Dental problems: You should start caring for your toddler’s teeth as soon as the first tooth erupts. Clean his tooth with a soft washcloth before bedtime. Take him to visit the dentist by the time he turns one. By this time, you should also start brushing his teeth using a soft toothbrush and fluoride-free toothpaste. Proper dental care will keep dental problems such as cavities and gum diseases at bay.
  4. Anaemia: This can affect a toddler’s growth. If your child feels weak, gets tired easily, has shortness of breath or shows poor growth, get him checked by a paediatrician for anaemia.
  5. Constipation: If your child experiences pain during bowel movements, has hard stools, strains to pass stools, or passes blood in stool, he may be constipated. Toddlers can also become constipated from withholding bowel movements. A change in diet and proper toilet training can help alleviate the problem.
  6. Diarrhoea: Occasionally, toddlers may get diarrhoea, which interferes with their digestion. It also causes loss of essential salts and minerals, and dehydration. Most toddlers get over it by themselves without any problems. If your toddler has diarrhoea, make sure that he drinks enough fluids and does not develop dehydration. However, if he starts showing signs of dehydration, take him to the doctor immediately.
  7. Nosebleeds: They are mainly caused by dry air, and most nosebleeds do not require hospitalisation. But they can also be caused by abnormal growths inside nostrils, injuries, swelling and irritation from infection, etc. Although nosebleeds look scary, stay calm. Have your child sit up to keep his head above his heart, tilt his head forward, hold his nose with your thumb and index finger to close the nostrils for five minutes. If the bleeding doesn’t stop after five minutes, hold his nose for five more minutes and check again. If the bleeding doesn’t stop even after repeated attempts, call the doctor.

Being aware of the common health concerns of toddlers can go a long way in helping you take care of them. But if you don’t know what is wrong with your child, seek medical attention at the earliest.