What are the Symptoms of Memory Loss in Children?

Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

Forgetfulness, cognitive impairment, and general impaired memory are the most common symptoms of memory loss in children. Depending on the cause, a child may also experience physical symptoms, such as nausea or fatigue, as well as emotional symptoms, such as anxiety.

Memory loss in children may be accompanied by a loss of appetite.
Memory loss in children may be accompanied by a loss of appetite.

Children who experience memory loss often suffer from frequent confusion. They may not be able to retain information at an age-appropriate level, and can show developmental delays. In extreme cases, these children may also experience temporary or permanent amnesia.

Depression can be a symptom as well as a cause of memory loss in children.
Depression can be a symptom as well as a cause of memory loss in children.

Depression and anxiety often occur simultaneously with memory loss in children, and these two issues can be symptoms as well as causes of the problem. Children may have an inability to concentrate, or to concentrate for long periods of time, and may be tired and fatigued. Some children who suffer from memory loss also exhibit general or extreme irritability. They may also have digestive problems, including a loss of appetite, diarrhea and incontinence.

Children who experience memory loss often suffer from frequent confusion.
Children who experience memory loss often suffer from frequent confusion.

Some children with memory problems become sensitive to noise or light. Those who suffer from some type of head trauma, whether due to an accident or abuse, may stop being interested in the types of things they would usually enjoy, such as games, toys, or activities. Many children with head injuries who lose their memory also lose their sense of balance and may have trouble walking.

Symptoms of memory loss in children may include fatigue.
Symptoms of memory loss in children may include fatigue.

Memory loss can also occur after a child experiences a period of unconsciousness or concussion. This symptom may be accompanied by vomiting or nausea, slurred speech, and dizziness. Kids who have memory loss as a result of a concussion may also complain of headaches and ringing in the ears.

Memory loss may occur as a result of head trauma.
Memory loss may occur as a result of head trauma.

Seizures can be a symptom or a cause of memory loss in children. If some form of diabetes is the reason for the memory problem, children may drink and urinate more frequently, and they can have an increased appetite. They may become obese or lose weight and can develop blurry vision. Some children who have memory loss in conjunction with diabetes may also seem to be in poor health generally, get more infections, and may develop patches of soft, dark skin known as acanthosis nigricans.

A child with memory loss from a concussion may also experience headaches or a ringing in the ears.
A child with memory loss from a concussion may also experience headaches or a ringing in the ears.
Developing blurry vision along with memory loss may be a sign of diabetes.
Developing blurry vision along with memory loss may be a sign of diabetes.
Some children have memory loss in conjunction with diabetes.
Some children have memory loss in conjunction with diabetes.
Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

A graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, Sara has a Master’s Degree in English, which she puts to use writing for wiseGEEK and several magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She has published her own novella, and has other literary projects currently in progress. Sara’s varied interests have also led her to teach children in Spain, tutor college students, run CPR and first aid classes, and organize student retreats.

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Discussion Comments

pleonasm

@indigomoth - I think that is good advice, but people also have to remember to trust their gut instinct when it comes to their child.

If you think something is wrong, you should not take any chances. Just bring them into the doctor.

Unfortunately, often childhood illness moves swiftly, and a symptom like memory loss is quite a dangerous one.

Don't overreact to your kids if they are just being kids, but always trust your gut. If it says something is wrong, don't be embarrassed about insisting it be seen to.

indigomoth

You have to be very careful if you suspect this in your child. Often kids will try to compensate for something they don't understand, so you might not realize what is going on right away.

But, at the same time, if you are worried you can confuse them further. Kids aren't always articulate, but they can pick up on cues really easily. If you start giving them more attention because you're worried, they might play up to it.

Or, if you frighten them, they might try to avoid the behavior that seemed to set you off.

Either way, you should try to be as calm and consistent as you can, until you can figure out what is going on.

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