How do I Recognize Fatigue in Children?

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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 27 September 2019
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Recognizing the signs of fatigue in children can often be determined by a change in behavioral patterns. A once active child who suddenly seems disinterested in physical activities may be one symptom. Falling asleep during daytime hours for no apparent reason could be a main indicator of fatigue in children as well. Listlessness or repetitive yawning can also be a sign that your child is suffering from fatigue, as can irritability.

Children can become fatigued for various reasons. One such factor might be a vitamin deficiency. If a child is not getting the proper nutrition or vitamin requirements, he may suffer from fatigue. Certain vitamin deficiencies may cause brittle fingernails or thinning hair, also a sign to cause concern.

If your child is exhibiting symptoms such as diarrhea and fatigue, or depression and fatigue, it might require the intervention of a pediatrician to determine the exact cause of his symptoms. Severe fatigue in children may have an underlying cause and should not be ignored. Depression can also cause chronic fatigue if left untreated.


A parent who knows a child's habits and personality will be able to recognize fatigue simply by his child's general appearance and attitude. If your child suddenly develops a tired look or dark circles under the eyes, this could be a symptom. Signs of fatigue in children might also manifest by sleeping longer hours. For instance, if your child's normal routine has always been 10 hours of sleep each night, and suddenly he's sleeping 12 or more hours, this could indicate fatigue. If his attitude suddenly changes, or perhaps he becomes reluctant to get out of bed in the morning, this could be a signal as well.

If your child suddenly shows signs of extreme effort to accomplish tasks he's never had trouble with before, he might be suffering from fatigue. For instance, if your child is suddenly having difficulty doing his chores or complains of being tired after doing them, he might be sending out a signal. Lack of energy in children could have serious causes and should not be dismissed.

A child who has always been a good student and has completed homework assignments on time, might suddenly fall behind at school due to fatigue or extreme tiredness. This could be a sign to look for as well. If your child is too exhausted to do well in school, a good course of action might be to schedule a complete physical for him.


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Post 3

@anamur-- Does she also have trouble doing homework or completing tasks because of fatigue? My son had these symptoms and it turned out to be anemia. Chronic fatigue in children isn't normal.

Post 2

@anamur-- What time does your daughter wake up? I've heard that elementary age children need around ten hours of sleep at night. They're not like adults in that sense. I can function fine with five or six hours but kids need way more.

You might want to take her to a doctor to make sure that she doesn't have a vitamin deficiency or anything like that. If she doesn't have severe and constant fatigue, then she probably needs more sleep than what she's getting right now.

Post 1

My eight year old daughter's teacher called me today and said that she sees my daughter yawning a lot in class lately. She asked me about what time she goes to bed.

She actually goes to bed on time, between 8:30 and 9pm which is what her pediatrician had recommended. I do check on her at night and she is sleeping.

Why would a child be sleepy and tired despite getting enough sleep?

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