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Quick GuideChildhood Illnesses: A Parenting Guide to Sick Kids
In addition to a child's physical well-being, there are also concerns about a child's behavior and emotional health. Major challenges include autism spectrum disorders, including Asperger syndrome, learning disorders, and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder).
But children may also be plagued by nightmares, sleeping difficulties, and irrational fears. Many children have trouble expressing their anger in an appropriate fashion. A major area of study is the effect on children of watching violence on television and playing violent video games.
As children get older and more independent, their chances of developing eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia increase, especially among girls who worry about being overweight. The specter of drug and substance abuse appears. Smoking also often starts in response to peer pressure. And then there are tattoos and body-piercing.