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Helping Kids Deal With Back-to-School Anxiety

Helping Kids Deal With Back-to-School Anxiety

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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Brooke Walker ReportingThis time of year, tummies start to turn a little bit as kids anticipate heading back to school.

Any parent knows it can be an anxious time. But when are those fears something to really worry about?

Back-to-school anxiety is a real thing for many kids. And experts say it's something parents should be sensitive to.

For many kids, school is still weeks away. But 11-year-old Alyson Ludlow is already thinking about it.

"Mostly good thoughts, but sometimes nervous. 'Oh my gosh, what am I going to do?' thoughts," she said.

She compares the first day of school to soccer tryouts.

"My heart beats, I think 'Oh..' I start to get sick," she said.

Her mother, Tiersa Ludlow, said, "Whenever it's a big deal, this happens."

For Tiersa, it's a yearly observation.

"About the week before, going over the list of things they will need for school. You can just tell," she said.

This morning on Studio 5, Dr. Brett Parkinson with Mountain Medical acknowledged while some back-to-school anxiety is expected, if a child's fear starts to infringe on everyday life, it could be something more.

"If the child seems to be preoccupied or worried all the time, that could be a sign. If your child suffers from panic disorders or has excessive fears about anything that seems out of the normal, you may want to seek help. There are effective treatments for anxiety disorders," he said.

While Tiersa knows her daughter's fears will fade, she also knows at that moment those fears are everything.

"You need to address their concerns, and not just blow them off," she said. "Give them a chance to talk about how they feel, what their worries are. If you let them think it means nothing, they might think something is wrong with them, other than just being a kid."

It's an understanding Alyson appreciates.

"Look at the positive -- meet new friends, learn new things. It will just help you with the life ahead of you, and you shouldn't be scare because it will be OK," she said.

Approximately 13 percent of children suffer from some type of anxiety disorder.

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