Back to school anxiety is increasing for children ahead of 2021-2022 year, doctors say

Local News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – There are just over two weeks until the new school year begins and News 2 has heard your concerns over children feeling anxious about getting back in their classrooms. Family physicians say it’s beneficial to learn how best to speak to your children about their fears and learn and when it could be time to get them additional help. 

Heading back to school was a time that was once filled with only excitement, but for many is now filled with worry.

Dr. Kay Durst with Roper St. Francis’ Physicians Partners Primary Care says anxieties are up for children getting ready to head back to school. She says, “I think it’s important to acknowledge the kids’ feelings for whatever it is”. 

Dr. Durst stressing that not dismissing the child’s feelings and having open communication about their concerns ensures everyone is on the same page. As she says “a lot of the students were either virtual or away from their friends and now they are going back. So they are also excited and a little bit worried too about what’s happening in the schools now”.

Although some nervousness is expected, Dr. Durst says parents should know the signs to look for in the case the child may need professional help.

If they are having trouble sleeping, you want to look out for that sign, also sometimes kids talk about how their stomach hurts, or they have headaches…Or even if they start to get a little quiet, stay in their room and don’t want to talk at all about their feelings.. 

Dr. Kay Durst, Family Medicine RSFH 

While every child is different, Dr. Durst says the benefit of the coming school year is this year more are prepared for the unknown that the pandemic could bring.

Citing the teachers and the school districts of being more aware of “what’s going” on and having more resources to help them.

Dr. Durst says if a child is concerned about getting sick, the parents can ensure they take their own precautions such as speaking to them about what social distancing is, having the child wear a mask, and if of age have them get vaccinated. Another important note, if a child has a runny nose or is sick to keep them at home.

For more on tips for mental health and children, click here.

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