Under normal circumstances, the attention span of children should progressively improve through the early stages of life. For some, however, certain conditions can cause adverse effects that emerge during a child's school years and last into adulthood. These factors include anemia, excessive use of electronic entertainment at an early age, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). There are also, however, factors that can have a positive effect on attention span. Involvement in crafts and activities, caring for pets and having a well-balanced diet may all have a positive affect on children.
One of the main causes of a shortened attention span of children is iron deficiency anemia. This is a condition in which a lack of iron results in a diminished amount of blood cells that carry oxygen through the blood. If this condition becomes severe enough, it can impact a child's attention span and cognitive functions.
ADHD is a condition in which children may suffer from inattention and hyperactivity. This is a problem that physicians will check for when it comes investigating the lack of attention span in some children. In some cases a doctor may diagnose a child that only has poor attention span as having ADHD, even if hyperactivity is not present. This condition is often improved with the help of medications and certain types of therapy.
Excessive watching of television may have a negative impact on the attention span of children. When younger children are allowed to watch television or play video games for hours, it can impair their ability to focus as older children. The fast-moving images found on television may over-stimulate young minds and create an inability to focus during a time when the mind is developing.
Positive measures and activities can be taken to lengthen and improve the attention span of children. Bringing home a pet and involving the child in its care is one way to do this. Children will focus not only on its care, but also in playing with the new animal. Participating in arts and crafts also helps to improve their ability to pay attention longer by stimulating their minds and encouraging creativity. This includes other activities, such as providing children with adequate playtime using toys such as puzzles.
Providing children with a well-balanced diet can also help to resolve attention problems. Lack of proper nutrition can shorten a child's attention span and make it difficult to concentrate. In many cases eating breakfast before school can help children to better pay attention during the day.