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Helping Your Child Deal With Anxiety

How do you help your child when they are feeling anxious or worried?

The pandemic has undoubtedly been a stressful time, particularly for kids. It’s important to recognize the symptoms of anxiety in your children and what to do if you suspect that your child might have anxiety and when to contact our Brookfield, and Addison, IL, pediatrician Dr. Walter Perez for help.

What Are the Signs of Anxiety in Children?

When children have anxiety, they may should emotional or physical symptoms, or both. While we know anxiety to be characterized by excessive fear or worry, it’s so much more complex than that. Children with anxiety may also show,

  • Loss of appetite or increased appetite
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Trouble concentrating
  • A drop in academic performance
  • Being clingier
  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Crying more often
  • Increased irritability or mood swings

If your child has been showing signs of anxiety for several weeks, then this is when you need to turn to our Brookfield and Addison, IL, pediatrician for further evaluation.

How Is Anxiety Diagnosed in Children?

It’s important to turn to our pediatric team first, as we can evaluate and assess your child and determine whether they might benefit from seeing a mental health professional such as a child psychologist for further testing or evaluation. Unlike physical disorders, anxiety cannot be diagnosed with a simple blood test; however, since we are your child’s healthcare provider, you will most likely turn to us when you notice the symptoms of anxiety so that we can provide additional mental health resources and referrals, if necessary.

What Are Some Ways To Alleviate Anxiety in Children?

We know how tough it can be for parents to see their children in such distress. Here are some tips that can help soothe their worry and fears,

  • Always validate your child’s feelings and what they are going through; never dismiss them or make them feel unheard.
  • Speak to them calmly or even provide some physical touch may help calm and relax them.
  • Maintaining a routine can provide stability, particularly for kids with anxiety. Setting up a daily routine can help your child feel safe.
  • Work with your child on mindfulness practices (today, there are many sites, videos and apps geared to mindfulness practices for all ages, even children).
  • Ensure that your child is getting a solid 10 hours of sleep at night if they are in elementary school.
  • Limit screen time and make sure that your child is getting daily exercise.
  • Make sure your child is eating a healthy, unprocessed diet low in sugar (processed foods laden with salt and sugar can make anxiety worse).

If you are concerned about your child's anxiety, our Brookfield, and Addison, IL, pediatrician Dr. Perez and the A to Z Pediatric and Youth Healthcare team will provide you with advice, help and resources. To schedule a consultation, call us at (708) 905-5993 or (630) 757-4010.

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