Behavior may hold clues to kids’ mental, physical health

By Laura Mize • Published: August 14th, 2015
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Is your kid a tantrum thrower?

If so, researchers from the University of Michigan say it may be a good idea to tell the pediatrician. That’s because behavioral problems could be linked to a child’s physical and mental health, not just a bad attitude.

Experts from the university’s children’s hospital released a report on child behavior and health. In it, they emphasized that attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, mood disorders, depression and anxiety all are considered mental and/or physical health problems.

Such conditions obviously can play a big role in shaping one’s conduct. Parents should take note of behavior that is especially out of the norm for your child or that is really out of tune with most kids.

Talking through such observations with a pediatrician can help parents and docs alike evaluate whether there is cause for concern.

The University of Michigan researchers who wrote the report shared results from a national survey they commissioned. Part of the survey focused on parents’ views about doctors and their child’s behavior.

The results showed that a majority of parents would consult a pediatrician about certain behaviors in their children, but not about others.

According to the report, intense sadness that lasts more than a month is one of several patterns that most parents would relay to the child’s doctor. The other two are increased anxiety and temper tantrums more severe than peers of the same age.

But only 37 percent of parents say they’d talk to the doc about a child’s trouble organizing homework.

The report authors note this problem could indicate a child struggles with A-D-H-D.

So, parents, remember that a child’s behavior and mood can be key important health clues. Don’t neglect to alert your pediatrician or family physician when something seems amiss.