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Stress as kids head back to school

August 29, 2012 1:31:08 PM PDT
Next week marks the start of the new school year for most kids in our area, and that can be quite a stressful time for some kids the new transition, perhaps new school, new friends.

But for parents, how do you know when that stress becomes something more, and what should you do about it?

A new school year can mean big changes.

"Anytime you are making a change in grade, especially if you move from elementary school to middle school or middle school to high school, many schools come together," said Kate Eshleman, with Cleveland Clinic. She adds, "So, there are new students that you don't know. There are new teachers. Maybe you used to be in one classroom all day and now you're changing classes."

Psychologists say you can watch for subtle signs. Maybe they're having trouble sleeping, or have lost their appetite.

They may even complain of more physical pains, like stomach aches or headaches, or they may just be more irritable.

If you notice any of this happening in the days leading up to the first day of school, try walking through the process in advance.

"I would encourage you to go to the school. Try to see if you can meet the teacher and walk around the classroom. Figure out where the locker is going to be. The more prepared they feel, the less stress they will experience," adds Dr. Eshleman.

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