Signs You Need To Make A Pediatrician Appointment For Your Adolescent Child
The adolescent stage can be a challenging one, both for the child and for their parents. This is a time of change. The child's body starts changing, and so does their disposition. As a parent, it is important to know the difference between what could be a normal age-related change in your child, and what could be a sign of illness or disease. Here are some common signs you need to schedule a pediatrician appointment for your adolescent child.
Ongoing Joint or Muscle Pain
It's normal for kids at this age to have occasional aches and pains, both due to growth and the high level of activity involved with school sports and recreation. You don't need to call the doctor over every muscle ache. However, if you adolescent child complains of frequent, ongoing, or chronic joint or muscle pain, then you should schedule a visit. Sometimes this pain can be a symptom of juvenile idiopathic arthritis, an autoimmune condition that often first appears in adolescence. If the pain is in the knees, it could be due to Osgood-Schlatter disease, a condition in which the quadriceps in the thigh pull on the patellar tendon of the knee, leading to pain. Both of these conditions can be managed and treated, so it's worth seeking a diagnosis.
Reduction in Appetite
Kids' appetites often increase during adolescence. They're growing rapidly at this stage, so their calorie needs are sky-high. If your adolescent's appetite seems to have decreased, or if they seem to be eating very little, you need to call the pediatrician. This could be a sign of an eating disorder like anorexia or bulimia, both of which often develop at this age. It could also indicate a more complex underlying issue such as irritable bowel syndrome or a hormonal imbalance.
It's not uncommon for children of this age to switch friend groups, get into some arguments with friends, or want to spend less time with their family. However, if your child's social behavior seems to be changing dramatically, and if that change seems to be having negative impacts on their life, you should call the pediatrician. Dramatic social changes can be a sign of depression, anxiety, or even drug use. It's common for these problems to start in adolescence but not be diagnosed until much later, so by seeing the pediatrician now, you're helping your child get more prompt and thorough care.
Raising an adolescent can be challenging at times. If you are ever worried that something happening in their life may be due to a health problem, do not hesitate to make an appointment with a pediatrician. Find pediatricians near you today.