Many children with cancer experience fatigue during and following treatment. Children may describe fatigue as being tired and/or feeling weak. Common causes of fatigue, include:
  • Cancer treatment (surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation)
  • Low blood counts
  • Poor nutrition
  • Fever
  • Pain
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Poor quality of sleep
  • Worry
  • Trying to do too much

Managing fatigue

Tell your healthcare provider if your child has fatigue. You can do many things to help your child fight fatigue.
  • Encourage physical activity every day.
  • A physical therapist can create an exercise program to increase your child’s strength and endurance.
  • If your child’s appetite is poor, offer healthy foods every two to three hours while awake. Try to make each snack as nutritious as possible. Talk to your nutritionist for ideas.
  • Discourage caffeine
  • Follow a regular bedtime routine
  • Get plenty of sleep each night
  • Alter the child's regular routines to avoid over extending, such as reducing attendance at school to half days.
If needed, work with your healthcare team to develop a plan to decrease pain

© The Children's Oncology Group
The information and content provided on this website is made available for informational purposes only for children and their families affected by cancer. While the Children's Oncology Group strives to provide accurate and up-to-date information, the information may be out of date or incomplete in certain respects. Please do not rely on this information and seek the care of a qualified medical professional if you have questions regarding a specific medical condition, disease, diagnosis or symptom. The information and content presented herein is not intended to replace the independent clinical judgement, medical advice, screening, health counseling, or other intervention performed by your (or your child's) health care provider. Please contact "911" or your emergency services if this is a health emergency. No endorsement of any specific tests, products, or procedures is made herein.