“My tummy hurts.” “I don’t feel good.” “I don’t think I can go to school today.”

As parents, we’ve heard it all when it comes to excuses children try to use when they don’t want to go to school. However, while some symptoms may be made up, it’s important to keep a careful eye out for symptoms that may be a signal of a more serious condition.

Watch for the Signs

When kids are young, it’s hard for them to tell us exactly what’s wrong and what’s hurting, especially since they’re still developing a vocabulary. However, their responses to certain things can sometimes say it all.

For example, if your child doesn’t react the way you feel most do when a loud noise occurs, you may want to bring your child in for a hearing screening. While your child may simply handle loud noises better than others, it’s better to be safe than sorry to ensure he or she isn’t experiencing any hearing loss.

Watch how loud your child keeps his or her devices, such as music stereo or iPad, television, smartphone, etc. While you should try to limit his or her “electronic” time always, it’s important that when your child is able to use these devices, he or she keeps the noise at a safe level and not too loud to prevent hearing damage, especially when wearing headphones.

Also, while kids will be kids, and will be here and there, pay attention to how your child is focusing on the objects in front of him or her. Is your child squinting? Is your child having a difficult time finding a toy that happens to be right in front of him or her? If your child is in school, does he or she have trouble seeing the board? How often does your child rub his or her eyes? All of these signs could mean an eye exam is needed.

*Our urgent care center is available to care for patients 6 months and older. If your child is feeling under the weather, don’t hesitate to stop by—we’re open seven days a week!*