Skip navigation

Hyperactivity and children

Toddlers and young children often are very active and have a short attention span. This type of behavior is normal for their age. Providing lots of healthy active play for your child can sometimes help.

Parents may question whether the child is just more active than most children, or whether their child has hyperactivity that is part of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or another mental health condition.

It is always important to make sure that your child can see and hear well, and to make sure there are no stressful events at home or school that may explain the behavior.

However, if the behaviors below have been present for a while or are becoming worse, the first step is to see your child's health care provider:

  • Constant motion, which often seems to have no purpose
  • Disruptive behavior at home or in school
  • Moving around at an increased speed
  • Problems sitting through class or finishing tasks that are typical for your child's age
  • Wiggling or squirming all of the time

Alternative Names

Children and hyperactivity

References

Cunningham N, Jensen P. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB,Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics.19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011: chap 30.

Update Date: 2/21/2013

Updated by: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

A.D.A.M Quality Logo

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch).

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Copyright 1997-2014, A.D.A.M., Inc. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized in writing by ADAM Health Solutions.

A.D.A.M Logo