Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

How to Calm Restless Kids


restless kidsBunty had always been a restless kid. Even as a preschooler, he would poke his nose at the most unexpected places at home. He was forever screaming and bouncing on top of the furniture. No toy or activity ever held his interest for more than a few minutes. When his teacher’s comments about his inattention and disruptive behaviour in class became too frequent to ignore, his parents took him to the doctor, who recommended an evaluation for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Boys are about three times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with it, though it’s not yet understood why. Dr. Rajeev Chhabra, consultant—paediatrics and neonatology, Artemis Health Institute, Gurgaon says, “There is no specific reason for which children become hyperactive. In some cases may be genes are responsible. Normally, by the time such children become teenagers they calm down.” Dr Arti Anand consultant psychologist, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital adds, “Besides the genetic link (for which you can do nothing) a pregnant woman who is addicted to alcohol or smoking is at risk of giving birth to a hyperactive baby.” However, she is quick to mention that a high level of lead in the blood, can also lead to ADHD disorder.
• Can be easily distracted
• Do not seem to listen.
• Have difficulty playing quietly.
• Often run or climb excessively
• Difficulty following instructions
• Interrupt or intrude on others.
• Do not finish tasks.
Seven steps to calm down—
Treatment options for ADHD are extremely varied. Your treatment plan might include some medications prescribed by the doctor. Behavioural modification helps too.
1. Deep breathing is one of the simplest ways to calm the body. Teach your children to take deep breaths (in through the nose, out through the mouth) when they begin to feel frustrated and out of control.
2. Be careful. It is best to talk to the toddlers and let them understand that their actions disturb others and they can hurt themselves
3. Divert attention. If the child insists on making a mess in the kitchen you can divert his attention by letting him play with utensils. In all circumstances do not hit or slap the baby, suggests Dr. Arti.
4. Share moments. Use free time to take a trip to the park, read a special book together, take a walk, or simply giggle and be silly with your child. These free moments can be especially helpful in bonding with hyperactive kids.
5. Healthy bites. Dr Chhabra points out, “Parents can restrict the quantity of sugar or sugar substitutes in their child’s diet, because these things may contribute to hyper behaviour and mood swing of toddler. Parents should also take care of the presence of some essential fatty acids or, certain vitamins in a wholesome child diet”
6. Cuddle your baby. Touch therapy helps children with ADHD disorder.
7. Praise and reward “Kids will be inspired to obey when their efforts are recognized by parents, teachers or other adults”, suggests Dr. Arti.

Insist on a regular bedtime and adequate rest. Insufficient rest can cause attention problems. Limit the TV time and encourage your child to do some physical exercises every day.

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Category: Health Concerns
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