Healthy Kids    

Helpful tips for reducing stress in your child

Everyone needs a way to relieve stress, even small children. “Pacifier is another word for managing stress,” says Dr. William Zurhellen, of Putnam Valley Pediatrics.

Although there is no conclusive data, Dr. Zurhellen believes children that rely on pacifiers for stress management find themselves relying on the same type of pacification as they grow older.  In order to feel a sense of calm, many adults continue to satisfy their need for oral pacification by smoking and by consuming sugary drinks, sweets and salty snacks which can lead to obesity and several forms of cancer.

Is school stressing your child out?

At an early age, parents should work with their children to learn to rely on speech and conscious communication skills to relieve stress. Rather than allowing your child to use a pacifier in stressful situations, ask your child to express why he’s feeling sad, anxious or upset. It’s important for parents to be good listeners and always follow up with a hug. 

1.      Eat healthy.  Stress inhibits the absorption of vitamin C and other nutrients, which can make stressful kids cranky. If your child is going through a stressful time, offer up some orange juice and a protein packed snack.

      2.      Exercise vigorously.  Exercising releases “feel good” endorphins that will cheer your sprout right up. If you suspect your child is stressed, go outside for some quality play time. Make exercise time a routine to ward off stress.

      3.      Touch gently. A simple hug is all it takes sometimes. The gentle pressure of a hug can stimulate nerve endings under the skin sending a calming message to the brain,” explains Tiffany Field, Ph.D., director of the University of Miami Medical School's Touch Research Institute.