HealthCurrents – Back to School Anxiety

A new school year is just about to start, and most kids are feeling mixed emotions—excitement and a bit of anxiousness, too. The cause of back to school anxiety can depend on a child’s age. Kids in middle school and high school tend to worry about grades, making sports teams, having a fun social life, ACT scores and more.

A younger child may be more concerned with the unknown – who is my teacher, where is my classroom, will I get lunch, who will pick me up after school, will I know anybody, etc.

Anxiety over heading back to class can even make kids feel physically sick complaining of stomachaches, headaches, nausea and dizziness, especially on Sunday evenings after having fun and relaxing all weekend.

If you observe potential symptoms of stress as the start of school approaches, understanding what factors are most upsetting for your child can help both you and your child prepare more effectively for the upcoming changes.

It is important to address your child’s worry and provide them with ways to handle feeling anxious. If you are unsure of how to help your child, or if worries do not gradually decrease or interfere with other areas of your child’s life like sleep and eating habits or emotional state, be sure to talk to your child’s teacher, family doctor, or a behavioral health professional who works with children.

For more about pediatric health providers and behavioral health services at Riverside visit