Detecting anxiety in children

Local News
Some kids head to school excited to meet new teachers and classmates but for others, it brings on a sudden rush of anxiety.
 
“You’re going to have those children who’s appetite changes, who’s more withdrawn, who’s more teary eyed, who’s more fearful based,” said Patti McGilton.
 
Patti McGilton is an Infant Mental Health Consultant for the children’s coalition of Northeast Louisiana. She said paying attention to a child’s behavior pattern is important in detecting early anxiety. 
 
“You’re also going to have the children who are acting out, specifically more than their parents because we push at those that we know love us the most,” said McGilton.
 
Separation anxiety is common for many children, when heading back to school, after the summer. Early childhood life skills coordinator, Tammy Washington said, it begins the moment we’re born.
 
“Anxiety begins early as an infant. We don’t think about it, but when a parent leaves the room and a child begins to cry, its because the child doesn’t know what’s going on or what’s going to happen next,” said Washington.
 
Washington said some children learn how to process those feelings as they get older while other’s carry them through adulthood. 
 
“As trusted adults, its our responsibility to create an environment and let the child know, that they are safe, everything will be ok,” said Washington.  
 
Consultants say keeping open communication and letting a child know they are safe might help the child succeed in future endeavors.
 
 
 

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