Definition and Signs Your Child is Lethargic
Many parents call our office because their child is sick and “lethargic”. It’s important to understand what lethargic really means. Lethargic means that the baby or child is almost in a coma-like state. The child won’t speak (except incoherent moaning), won’t make eye contact with anyone, won’t acknowledge that anyone else is there, won’t walk or sit up, lies limp and lifeless, too sick to even fuss very much, and won’t really move around. This condition means that the child is seriously ill, and you should probably take your child straight to an ER without delay.
Fortunately when parents tell us their child is lethargic, what they really mean is the child is a bit “out of it”, not quite acting themselves, wants to lie low and just be held, or is fussy on and off. These situations are not really an emergency, since they are common with most illnesses. Call your doctor during business hours to see if an appointment is needed.