What Are Some Signs of Malnutrition in a Child?

What Are Some Signs of Malnutrition in a Child?

Symptoms of malnutrition in children include fatigue, dizziness and poor growth, according to Kid's Health. The child may be underweight and may have decaying teeth. His immune system may not function properly, making him susceptible to infections.

A child may exhibit different malnutrition symptoms depending on the nutritional deficiency he has, according to Kid's Health. Iron deficiency may cause delayed development in young kids and poor concentration in older kids. Iodine deficiency causes delayed development and may lead to mental retardation.

Malnutrition may cause physical and cognitive symptoms, reports Kid's Health. Some of the physical symptoms include dry and scaly skin, bleeding gums, muscle weakness and fragile bones. Cognitive symptoms include problems paying attention, slower reaction times and learning disabilities. Children may also have lower intelligence quotient scores, memory deficiency and reduced problem-solving abilities, reports Orphan Nutrition. Malnutrition may also cause psychiatric symptoms, such as anxiety and changes in mood, reports the John Hopkins Children's Center.

Malnutrition may affect a child's sense of taste, smell and sight, reports the John Hopkins Children's Center. The child may experience increased sensitivity to glares and light. He may also experience night blindness.

Most malnourished children are shorter than their age mates, notes John Hopkins Children's Center. Chronic malnutrition has long-term symptoms, such as stunting, according to Orphan Nutrition. The child may never regain his growth potential if he does not get the necessary nutrients.