Common Health Problems With Children

Childhood Obesity

Obesity is on the rise in our children. Your pediatrician should including obesity screening as part of the physical exam.

  • The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that children six years and older be screened for obesity (defined as an age- and gender-specific BMI at or above the 95th percentile)
  • Children who are obese should be offered or referred for comprehensive, intensive behavioral interventions
  • The USPSTF found insufficient evidence for screening children younger than six years
  • Your doctor may order a fasting lipid and glucose


People who have ADHD have difficulty organizing things, listening to instructions, remembering details, and/or controlling their behavior. This can make it difficult to get along with other people at home, at school, or at work.

A person with ADHD who has difficulty paying attention will have 6 or more of the following symptoms:

  • Has difficulty following instructions
  • Has difficulty keeping attention on work or play activities at school, work and home
  • Loses things needed for activities at school, work and home
  • Appears not to listen
  • Doesn’t pay close attention to details
  • Seems disorganized
  • Has trouble with tasks that require planning ahead
  • Forgets things
  • Is easily distracted

A person with ADHD who is hyperactive or impulsive will have at least 6 of the following symptoms:

  • Fidgety
  • Runs or climbs inappropriately
  • Can’t play quietly
  • Blurts out answers
  • Interrupts people
  • Can’t stay in seat
  • Talks too much
  • Is always on the go
  • Has trouble waiting his or her turn

You should speak to your doctor about treatment options for ADD/ADHD. Psychostimulants such as methylphenidate are commonly used.

Asthma in Children

Asthma is a disease that often starts in childhood. Asthma makes it difficult for your child’s lungs to get air. That makes it hard for your child to breathe. Asthma happens when your lungs become irritated and fill with mucus.

If your child has asthma, he or she may:

  • Be short of breath (with or without activity)
  • Have a tight feeling (or pain) in their chest
  • Have difficulty sleeping (because asthma symptoms are worse at night, when you are lying down)
  • Have a noticeable wheezing sound as they breathe
  • Have a persistent cough

You should see your doctor for a spirometry test and medication management. Also, take note of certain environmental triggers for your asthma