The risks stress can pose on young children

The difference between stress and an anxiety disorder

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CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) –  For many kids, heading back to school is scary. New classmates, new teachers and new responsibilities. The academic and social pressure can start to build up.

“We put a lot of expectations on them to sort of hold it together all of the time, be able to be focused and be able to maintain the level of learning that is expected of them in each individual grade level,” said Jaime Scala, an after-school teacher in South Hadley.

Doctors say it’s perfectly normal for students to feel a little nervous, but for some, the stress and anxiety can actually impact their school work, and their health.

Researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, say emergency room visits for headaches increase by more than a third after school starts in the fall. Many of these visits, are for headaches.

Tension headaches are the most common, but for some children, stress can actually trigger migraines. That can cause more severe symptoms like nausea, vomiting even sensitivity to light and smell. Psychologists say it’s important for you to listen, understand where your child is coming from and reassure them.

“A lot of kids think of worst case scenario so go over that with them. What is the worst case scenario? What will you do,” said Dr. Jennifer Thomas.

If your child complains of constant headaches and anxiety, it might be a good time to have them see a doctor. Click Here for some information to help identify the difference between stress and an anxiety disorder.

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