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Warning Signs

Identifying Key Warning Signs of Mental Health Conditions in Children

There are several maladaptive methods children learn to react to stressors in their life. Although the following list isn’t exclusive, they do offer insight into warning signs to watch for when childminding.   

– Mood Changes: While every child will likely have a bad day, it’s vital to identify intense, ongoing periods of sadness or withdrawal. These include large swings throughout the week that can consist of excessive periods of happiness too.

– Behaviour Changes: If you notice a child engaging in frequent fighting, weapons, self-harm (or harm to others), they may indicate a conduct disorder. 

– Intense Feelings: Fear or worries that interfere with daily activities, physical manifestations of such fear (including racing heart or fast breathing), can be a sign of anxiety disorders in children. 

– Physical Symptoms of Pain: Children with mental health conditions may feel physical (unexplained symptoms) when dealing with stressors. These might include headaches, tiredness, or stomach aches. 

– Missing Key Milestones: Autism spectrum disorder is a serious developmental disorder that often appears in early childhood. Symptoms can drastically vary but observing behaviour over time is paramount to diagnosis. Should a behaviour persist or worsen within two months, it may be cause for concern. 

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