Category Adhd in children

The Dangers of ADHD Medications for Children

adhd medications for childrenIt is true that the symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattentiveness in children with ADHD can be alleviated with the help of medication. However, these medications have their own side-effects and risks. If you are the parent of a child with ADHD, it is important to learn the facts about the dangers of ADHD medications for children. If you want what is best for your child, as every parent surely does, make sure you make an informed decision after reading the following.

It can be difficult to decide whether or not you should give your child ADHD medication, but it can help if you do your homework. The first thing that needs to be understood is precisely what ADHA medications can and cannot do. ADHD medications may or may not improve a child’s ability to concentrate, control impulses, follow through with tasks, and plan ahead. In any event, these medications are not magic pills, so they will not fix all the problems of a child with ADHD. Even children who take ADHD medications may struggle with emotional problems, forgetfulness, and social awkwardness. Therefore, making lifestyle changes — including a healthy diet, regular exercise, and sufficient rest — is equally important.

The most common type of medication prescribed for ADHD is stimulant medication. Although the effectiveness of stimulants is backed up by considerable research, this type of medication has common side-effects:

Difficulty sleeping
Feeling restless and jittery
Loss of appetite
Mood swings
Racing heartbeat and palpitations
Nausea and stomach upsets

Apart from these potential side-effects, numerous safety concerns are also associated with ADHD stimulant medications:

Effects on the developing brain: It is not yet known what long-term impact ADHD medication has on the developing brain. According to some researchers, normal brain development in children and teenagers with ADHD may be hindered when using drugs such as Ritalin.

Heart-related problems: It has been found that ADHD medication increases the risk of sudden cardiac death in children and teenagers. The American Heart Association recommends that parents have their children undergo a cardiac evaluation before giving them stimulant medication.

Psychiatric problems: Symptoms of aggression, anxiety, depression, hostility, and paranoia in children may be aggravated or triggered by stimulants. Children with a personal history of bipolar disorder or depression are at much higher risk, so parents should carefully monitor them when giving them stimulants.

There are non-stimulant medications available, Strattera being one of the most common. Usually, the use of non-stimulant medications is considered because of the concerns and side-effects of stimulant ADHD medications. Even though Strattera is the only FDA-approved non-stimulant medication for the treatment of ADHD, it’s also associated with numerous side-effects:

Abdominal pain
Mood swings
Nausea, vomiting, and stomach upsets
Sleepiness and insomnia
Appetite suppression

There are also safety concerns with non-stimulant medications:

Liver problems: In rare cases, liver function in children taking non-stimulant medication for ADHD may be affected. Jaundice is among the early warning signs of liver problems.

ADHD medications of both varieties may lead to a rise in suicidal ideation in some children and teenagers, especially those suffering bipolar disorder or depression along with ADHD.

The dangers of ADHD medications for children are evident, and medication alone is not enough to treat ADHD in children. There is a lot that can be done to help children tackle the challenges of ADHD and lead a life that is calmer and more productive. This includes eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep, maintaining a positive attitude, and trying therapy. Even if you must give your child medication for ADHD, you will be able lower the dose if you encourage your child to make healthy lifestyle changes and consider self-help strategies.

Easily Missed Signs of ADHD in Children

signs of adhd in childrenIf you have labeled your child a troublemaker, undisciplined, or lazy, be aware that they may be suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is a disorder that manifests during childhood. Children affected by this disorder are not able to inhibit their responses. It affects movement, speech, and even their attention spans. The condition can affect your child’s ability to study and socialize.

The signs of ADHD in children are expected to appear before your child is seven years old. If you are not careful, you will not differentiate your potentially autistic child’s behavior from what is normal. If the signs appear only once in a while, then it may be normal behavior. However, if they consistently appear in all circumstances, it is possible that your child is a victim. Once you determine this condition, it is important to take the necessary corrective steps as quickly as possible.

The primary characteristics of ADHD include hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and impulsivity. The signs and symptoms exhibited by your child will depend on which type of primary characteristic they have. Your child may be inattentive but neither hyperactive nor impulsive. They could also be hyperactive and impulsive but good at paying attention. The most common type of suffers, however, may display all three characteristics at the same time.

Many parents and teachers may not actually know how to determine whether a child is inattentive. Many of them think that a child will not listen to anything at all. However, children with ADHD do listen but only to that which makes them happy. Topics of interest will catch their full attention, whereas they will never be attentive with topics they consider boring. They will avoid following set procedures and yearn to carry out duties in their own manner. You will find their organization of homework to be very poor, even after being taught several times. They will often lose their books and at times will not complete their homework. They will not be able to concentrate in very busy and noisy environments (a quiet and calm environment will give them the necessary environment for keeping their attention to the task at hand). When you are talking to them, you will discover that they are not listening to you. If you find your child with such inattentive behavior, then it is possible they have ADHD.

Hyperactive children will appear to be always on the move. They will want to engage in several activities all at once. If you manage to calm them, they will soon rev up and end up disobeying you. You will find them often fidgeting and squirming. They have a quick temper, especially when you try to stop them from doing what they desire. They are often boisterous when playing.

Impulsive children lack self-control. They are apt to interrupt all types of conversation, intrude on other people’s personal space, and make irrelevant inquiries. They will appear moody and overreact emotionally. They will perform activities without thinking. In class, you will find them rather rowdy and rude. They will shout aimlessly even when they have not been asked to answer a question. They believe they are more important than anyone else.

The above three primary characteristics are the most common signs of ADHD in children. If you find your child behaving abnormally, do not hesitate to find out why. However, some mental disorders may also cause these signs. It is important that you visit a qualified specialist who has the capability to diagnose ADHD. Helping your child to cope with ADHD involves enrolling them in therapy, providing them with a better diet, ensuring they get regular exercise, and working on their environment to reduce chances of distraction. The combined effort of you, your doctor, and your child’s teachers will help your child cope effectively.