If you could bottle a child’s energy into a drink, you would be rich. It’s no secret that kids like to run around, but some kids have too much energy. Parents don’t have the same level of activity that children have and might think this is because they have hyperactive children. Hyperactivity, when paired with attention deficit disorder, affects nearly 2 million children in the United States, according to the Ohio State University Extension.
Hyperactivity is a condition that can affect your child for the rest of his life. According to the Mayo Clinic, children with hyperactivity may get in trouble more often and may have low self-esteem and troubled relationships. Children who do not get treatment for the condition may struggle to learn the skills they need to become independent adults.
Hyperactivity is a condition that only a trained medical professional should diagnosis. When a child is hyperactive, he will usually have multiple symptoms. According to OSU, your child should have most of the symptoms associated with hyperactivity. If your child only has one or two, the chances are good that he does not have the condition. Common symptoms include the inability to sit still, difficulty concentrating on tasks, impulsive behavior, constant fidgeting and blurting out answers.
When you want to know whether your child has hyperactivity, you may want to start by looking at the risk factors for the condition. The New York Times reports that boys are more likely than girls to develop hyperactivity. The condition often runs in families. While no clear evidence has emerged from studies, some preliminary research shows environment and dietary factors may play a role in the risk factors. Environmental factors under investigation include exposure to second-hand smoke or lead and maternal use of alcohol, drugs or cigarettes during pregnancy. Dietary factors may relate to sensitivities to chemicals used in foods.
For some children, hyperactivity may be a sign of another condition. According to the Mayo Clinic, hyperactivity and ADHD may mirror the following conditions: autism, Tourette syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome, hyperthyroidism and seizure disorders. Learning disabilities, hearing problems, vision impairments and sleep disorders may be underlying issues that cause hyperactive symptoms.
If your doctor determines that your child does have hyperactivity, treatment options can help reduce outbursts and control other symptoms. The National Library of Medicine reports that stimulant medications are the most common medications doctors prescribe, because the stimulant has a calming effect on children. Your doctor will base the medication on your child’s age and symptoms. For some children, psychotherapy is another treatment option. Your doctor may recommend combining medication with psychotherapy treatment. If your child does not respond to treatment, he may not have hyperactivity.