The Doctor Is In: Stress in Children


MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Dr. Nancy Wood from Children’s Medical Group joins WKRG News 5 again this week to discuss stress in children.

Here are some FAQs:

What are some overarching principles to help prevent stress?

-Create a strong sense of security



-Reasonable expectations

-Not letting your child see you during the most stressful times

-Allowing your child to see you frustrated and resolve the frustration/conflict

-Creating a relationship where your child knows they can confide in you/non-judgmental

-Allowing for down-time

What are some common stressors for children?

-Home life disturbances

-Friend disturbances



-Self-consciousness (living up to expectations)

-Disasters that make the news

-Watching stressful shows

-Addictions to the screen

How do toddlers/young children show stress?

-Temper tantrums

-Sudden onset unusual behavior

School-aged children often appear to be stress-free, but how do they show stress?

-Trickiest age

-Often have outbursts when it is least expected (example, moving/death in the family…little to no reaction after hearing the news/major outburst later when everything is seemingly going well)

-Always listening, often misinterpret

-Children this age ask the question that they need to know the answer to- better not to overwhelm

-Always complaining of HA/abdominal pain

How do adolescents show stress?

-Often really hard on themselves

-Often fixate on a problem

-Becoming reclusive, change in personality

-Always tired

-HA/abdominal pain/general malaise

-Change in eating patterns


-New friend group

When could the signs of stress be a physical illness rather than a psychological problem?

-Encourage seeing the pediatrician in any situation where there is concern

-Abdominal pain- vomiting, diarrhea, blood in stool, weight loss

-Headache- vision changes, vomiting, forgetfulness, dizziness, clumsiness

-Fever would not be caused by stress

-Potty accidents in a previously potty trained child warrant evaluation by doc

Watch the full interview above.


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