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Lethargy in children: what it is and causes

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Many parents often complain that their children are in some kind of lethargic state, but what does lethargy mean? Lethargy in children refers to a decrease in energy levels. It is defined as a prolonged feeling of tiredness and fatigue. Lethargic children lie down lazily and do not even move for considerable periods of time. A feeling of lethargy can be triggered due to lack of energy, but it is also often associated with serious illnesses and even psychological disorders. In the following FastlyHealarticle, we will explain in detail what lethargy is in children and what are its most common causes .

Lethargy in Babies: Causes

Although adults are more susceptible to lethargy, active children also experience this problem. Lethargy can occur for different reasons, even exertion can cause a lack of energy.

The following are some of the causes of lethargy in children , because a baby or child who is down, sleeps a lot or does not have energy should be seen by a doctor or pediatrician as soon as possible, since it could be an indication of some type of health problem that requires specific treatment.

Lack of sleep

Children who do not get enough rest or get adequate hours of sleep can be in this state of drowsiness, lack of energy and weakness throughout the day. Due to lack of sleep, the child experiences persistent fatigue and is unable to concentrate on his daily routines.

Child malnutrition

By not eating too much food, the little ones suffer a considerable decrease in their energy levels. As the body does not receive its daily dose of protein, vitamins and minerals, the child shows a sharp drop in activity levels.


This condition causes a significant reduction in the number of red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the different organs of the body. Hence, it brings about the lethargic state. A poor and iron deficient diet is the most common factor. In the following article we explain what are the symptoms, types and treatment of anemia .

Other diseases

On many occasions, lethargy in children is a symptom of some type of disease or condition that compromises the child’s health. These can be very numerous, some of them are the following:

  • Cold or flu.
  • Fever .
  • Meningitis.
  • Heart diseases.
  • Nervous diseases.
  • Bacterial infections.
  • Viral infections

Treatment of lethargy in children

Although all newborns spend most of the time, it is very important that the little one wakes up every so often, that he eats well, that he is happy and in a state of alert. On the contrary, if most of the time, you are drowsy, down, not alert or do not wake up to ask for food, it is essential that you go to the pediatrician urgently, since this behavior can be a clear sign that the child is suffering from some kind of disease or condition.

The treatment of lethargy will depend in each case on the factor that is causing it, because as we have already seen, the causes can be numerous. The pediatrician will indicate all the steps to follow and the treatment to be started.

How to tell if a baby is sick

Once the possible causes of lethargy in children are known, let’s see what other symptoms or signs can warn us of the possibility that our little one is sick and we should take him to the pediatrician as soon as possible:

  • No appetite.
  • Cries a lot or more than usual.
  • Their cry is weak or muffled.
  • You vomit more than normal.
  • Absence of stools or very small, hard or dry stools, with blood or mucus.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Fever.
  • Bluish lips.
  • Skin spots or rash.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Lethargy in children: what it is and causes , we recommend that you enter our category of Mental disorders .

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