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Adhd In Children
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
ADHD is a condition that affects your child's behavior. Your child may be overactive and have a short attention span. ADHD may make it difficult for him to do well at home or in school. He may also have problems getting along with other people. ADHD usually starts before age 7 and is more common among boys. The exact cause of ADHD is not known.
Call 911 for any of the following:
- Your child has hurt himself or someone else.
- You feel like hurting your child.
Seek care immediately if:
- Your child has trouble breathing, chest pains, or a fast heartbeat.
Contact your child's healthcare provider if:
- You feel you cannot help your child at home.
- Your child's ADHD prevents him from doing most of his daily activities.
- Your child has new symptoms since the last time he visited his healthcare provider.
- Your child's symptoms are getting worse.
- You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.
- Stimulants help your child pay attention, concentrate better, and manage his energy.
- Antidepressants help decrease or prevent depression or anxiety. It can also be used to treat other behavior problems.
- Give your child's medicine as directed. Call your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your child's healthcare provider as directed:
Your child will need to have regular visits with his healthcare provider to make sure his medicine is working. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Ways to support your child:
- Be patient with your child. Try to stop his behavior problems quickly so they do not get out of control. It will not help to yell at your child to get him to behave. Stay calm and be direct. Always give him eye contact and explain why the behavior needs to stop. Try to be patient as your child learns new ways to behave well.
- Praise your child for good behavior. Children often respond better to praise than to criticism. It may be helpful to set up a reward system with your child. For example, he can earn points or tokens for good behavior that he can exchange for something he wants.
- Help your child understand tasks he needs to do. Make eye contact with your child and give him 1 task. Let him complete the task before you give him a new task. Work with his teachers to make sure you know what homework is assigned and when it is due. Your child may need to start working on assignments well before they are due. He may need to work for short periods at a time. A homework notebook can help your child keep track of assignments and make sure he turns in the work.
- Help your child manage stress. Stress may make your child's ADHD worse. Teach your child how to control stress. Ask about ways to calm his body and mind. These may include deep breathing, muscle relaxation, music, and biofeedback. Have your child talk to someone about things that upset him.
- Feed your child healthy foods. These include fruits, vegetables, breads, dairy products, lean meat, and fish. Healthy foods may help your child feel better. Your child's healthcare provider may want your child to eat a special diet or one that is low in fat. Your child should drink water, juices, and milk. Limit the amount of caffeine your child drinks.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.