As a parent, all you want is for your child to be safe, healthy, and happy. And with that mentality and goal in mind, you do everything you can to take care of your child. As they get older and reach their pre-teen and teen years, however, you have less control over these things. While you want to let your child become their own person and take more control over their own life, you may be concerned if you begin to notice that your child is losing weight when you do not believe they need to or they seem to be losing weight quickly. Before you panic, get to know when you should seek medical attention for your child's weight loss so that you can handle the situation in the best way possible.
Their Eating Habits Have Changed Drastically
One of the biggest factors affecting your child's weight is the food that they eat. Even more important than exactly what they eat are their eating habits and their overall relationship with food. If your child is losing weight, their eating habits are one of the first things you should start paying attention to.
If your child has become extremely restrictive with what they eat, like not eating any grains or carbs, cutting out all sugars, or trying fad diets like a juice fast, the raw food diet, or the like, you likely have cause for concern. While most pre-teens and teens will experiment with different diet and eating lifestyles (vegetarianism or vegan diets), these experiments are usually short-lived or still done in a healthy way.
Simply going vegan or vegetarian is not necessary cause to call the pediatrician. However, if your child has gone vegetarian and will only eat certain fruits and vegetables but no other foods, or restricts their calories and skips meals on a daily basis, you need to take them to the doctor as soon as possible to be evaluated for an eating disorder. Such restrictive eating habits can cause your child to experience numerous health problems including inflamed and failing organs as well as future reproductive problems.
They Are Obsessed With Their Weight And Are Constantly Weighing Themselves
Most teens and pre-teens tend to be overly concerned with their external appearance, including their weight. It is a time in their lives when their bodies are changing and social acceptance and perceived attractiveness are highly important. As such, if your child weighs or measures themselves from time to time or seems concerned about their weight, this is normal teenage behavior.
However, there is a difference between being concerned about their weight and being obsessed. If your child is obsessed with their weight, they will often make comments about feeling or looking fat, about how much weight a big meal will make them gain or a constant awareness of how their body looks. You also may notice that your child is stepping on the scale a great deal.
Children who have crossed over into weight obsession may weigh themselves every day or several times throughout the day to make sure they haven't gained weight or are losing weight. You may also notice them measuring their body with a tape measure or even with their hands as the look in the mirror or examine themselves. This obsession is also a sign of eating disorder trouble and may require medical and mental health interventions from their pediatrician.
Now that you know a few of the situations in which you should seek medical attention for your child's weight loss, you can be sure to get your child to the doctor as soon as possible if you notice these signs so that they get the help and care they need. Click this link for more information about visiting a pediatrician.