There are active children and then there’s the hyperactive child. Here’s how to deal with a hyperactive child at home.

To start with, it’s good to check whether the hyperactivity is within a normal range, as many children—especially young kids—are naturally very active. It can be quite alarming when a small child becomes very active in the home because they can easily hurt themselves or break things, so it’s best to move breakable and expensive items out of their way, if that’s possible.

It’s also important to talk to your family doctor or paediatrician and describe their behaviour in detail, because they can make a thorough assessment of your child’s physical wellbeing, organise specific tests and make professional recommendations. Make a chart of your child’s activity levels throughout the day and night, using your own 0–5 score ratings, so that you can give any professional a clear idea of what you are experiencing at home.

Alongside the activity levels, make a note of everything they have eaten and what is happening in the home when they are extra active. I have seen many children whose hyperactivity was related to a food sensitivity, and it’s worth making small changes to their diet to see if there are any of these issues. One of my friend’s daughters became hyperactive whenever she drank or ate anything containing citrus or citric acid; for other children, it was chemical additives in a drink, or intolerances/allergies/sensitivities to things like lactose, dairy, soy, gluten, etc.

Sometimes children become very active because they want to spend time with a parent, especially if a parent is working outside the home and they don’t see very much of them. It may also be helpful to take the child to a place where they can burn off lots of energy safely, such as in a soft play zone, going for a walk or a run or playing on outside toys.

I hope that you can find some help for you and your child so that you can both get some rest, as that is important too. Take care of yourself and, if you are feeling overwhelmed by the hyperactivity, make sure that you can get some support, and have some time to replenish your own energy and calmness. 

Any advice given is general in nature and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice and must not be relied upon as such. For any healthcare advice, always consult a healthcare practitioner.

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