In this Article
Hypothyroidism in Infants and Children
Is Hypothyroidism In Children Serious?
Normal levels of thyroid hormone are vital for proper growth and development.
Consequently, hypothyroidism, especially in infants and young children, can lead to serious, sometimes permanent, developmental problems if not detected and treated promptly.
For infants born with hypothyroidism, diagnosis and treatment within the first month or so of life may prevent any irreversible problems with the child’s development.
On the other hand, if diagnosis or treatment is delayed until after the first two or three months of life, permanent problems with the child’s development, most noticeably mental retardation, may be unavoidable.
The older the child when hypothyroidism develops, the less the chances of permanent effects on the child. Consequently, older children who develop hypothyroidism may show many of the symptoms associated with inadequate organ stimulation (such as slowed heart rate, difficulties in thinking and learning, and constipation) but little, if any, permanent abnormality in growth or development.