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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition that affects your child's behavior. Children with ADHD can be overactive and have short attention spans. ADHD may make it difficult for your child to do well at home or in school. ADHD may also cause your child to have problems getting along with other people. ADHD usually starts before your child is 7 years old and is more common among boys. The exact cause of ADHD is not known.


You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's caregivers to decide what care you want for your child.


  • Some medicines may cause your child to have sleeping problems, headache, abdominal pain, and convulsions. Other side effects include loss of appetite, vomiting, irritability, and unusual changes in behavior.
  • If left untreated, your child's behavior may get worse and he may also develop other serious problems. These include alcohol or drug use, depression, and problems with his mood, friendships, and relationships. He may have a poor image of himself. ADHD may affect your child's behavior at home or school. With ADHD, your child may even have thoughts of harming himself or others.


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Emotional support:

Stay with your child for comfort and support as often as possible while he is in the hospital. Ask another family member or someone close to the family to stay with your child when you cannot be there. Bring items from home that will comfort your child, such as a favorite blanket or toy.


is a small tube placed in your child's vein that is used to give him medicine or liquids.


  • Stimulants: This medicine helps your child pay attention, concentrate better, and manage his energy.
  • Antidepressants: This medicine helps decrease or prevent the symptoms of depression. It can also be used to treat other behavior problems.


  • 12 Lead EKG: This test helps caregivers see your child's heart activity. It helps caregivers look for changes or problems in different areas of the heart. Sticky pads are placed on your child's chest, arms, and legs. Each pad has a wire that is hooked to a machine or TV-like screen. This machine shows a tracing of your child's heartbeat. This test takes about five to ten minutes. Your child must lie very still during the test.
  • Blood and urine tests: These tests may be done to find the cause of your child's ADHD or rule out other health conditions.

Treatment options:

  • Behavior therapy: With a therapist, your child will learn how to control his actions and improve his behavior. This is done by teaching him how to change his behavior by looking at the results of his actions.
  • Psychotherapy: This is also called talk therapy. Your child may have one-on-one visit with a therapist or with others in a group setting.

Learn more about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children (Inpatient Care)

Associated drugs

IBM Watson Micromedex

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.