Crying,Age 3 and Younger - Topic Overview
occasions, crying may point to a serious illness or injury. Crying caused by a
serious illness or injury usually lasts much longer than normal.
- Some illnesses may cause persistent crying.
These include common infections, such as ear infections (otitis media) or
urinary tract infections, and rarer infections, such
dehydration. A persistent cry in a newborn may be the
first sign of a serious illness, such as sepsis.
- A serious injury
from a fall, being shaken, or
abuse may cause a child to cry for a long time. Other
signs of injury, such as swelling, bruising, or bleeding, are usually
Crying related to medical conditions
conditions can cause a young child to cry, such as
inguinal hernia, or
Children with genetic
conditions, such as cri du chat ("cat's cry") syndrome or phenylketonuria
(PKU), may have a different-sounding cry but one that
is normal for them.
Crying and shaken baby syndrome
Crying can be very
frustrating for a parent or caregiver. Do not get angry at your child for
crying. Never shake or harm your child. Shaking a child in anger or playing
rough, such as throwing him or her into the air, can injure the brain.
Shaken baby syndrome needs to be reported to your
doctor. If you find that you are losing patience or are afraid that you may
hurt your child:
- Place your child in a safe place while you go
into another room, relax, and calm yourself.
- Ask someone to help
you. If you cannot find someone to take over for you and you still feel out of
control, call your doctor.
Check your child's symptoms to decide if and when
your child should see a doctor.