Level of consciousness is a measure of a child's ability to interact with other people and react to his or her surroundings. A decreased level of consciousness may point to a serious health problem.
Symptoms of a decreased level of consciousness in a young child include:
- Extreme irritability for more than 3 hours. The child cannot be calmed by holding, rocking, or feeding.
- Extreme sleepiness and difficulty waking up.
- Limpness and poor, weak muscle tone. A child older than 3 months of age may not move for an extended period of time or may not show any desire to move.
- Weak or feeble cry.
- Lack of response to touch or voice.
- Inability to suck for two or more feedings in a row.
- Vacant or blank stare. Children older than 3 months of age may not make eye contact or may show other signs of confusion or disorientation.
- Unequal movement, strength, and activity of the arms or legs.
Current as of: July 1, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor MD - Emergency Medicine