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Helping Children Cope with Stress

Thursday, Feb 19, 2015

The carefree days of youth are not so carefree after all. Children of all ages experience stress in varying degrees. Here are two resources to help parents recognize stress in their children and help them cope.

Adults are not the only ones feeling stressed out these days. Children of all ages are feeling the pressures of everyday life, school, activities and social issues.

According to a 2014 survey by the American Psychological Association, 30% of teens reported feeling sad or depressed because of stress and 31% felt overwhelmed. And 36% said stress makes them tired.

Even infants and toddlers can exhibit signs of stress. These can be emotional, social and even physical.

What's a parent to do?

The latest episode of Health Matters with Doylestown Hospital on CBTV focuses on the issue of stress and children, from infants through teens. Guests include Pamela Harrington, MD, chair of Doylestown Hospital's Department of Pediatrics, and Pat McLaughlin, a Central Bucks school psychologist.

Watch Video: Helping Your Children Cope with Stress - Resilient Kids

"Health Matters" Helping Children Cope with Stress

They share insight into signs of stress including fatigue, mood swings and acting out. Physical signs include stomachache and headaches. Some children become withdrawn or want to spend a lot of time alone.

Parents are encouraged to talk with their children openly and realistically about what's going on. If a child refuses to talk or is exhibiting serious behavior concerns, there are resources for parents. These include school psychologists and guidance counselors as well as mental health professionals.

The Health Matters episode also includes a special guest, a CB South High School senior who shares her experience about the stress felt by older students, including college applications, activities and social issues. This active teen has learned to take some down time to help get through the busiest and most stressful times.

CBTV is available on Comcast channel 28 and Verizon Fios channel 40.

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