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Experts say just like adults, our kids are struggling mentally too

Posted at 4:10 PM, May 23, 2021

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and if living through a global pandemic wasn't enough, our kids are having to keep up with many changes. They include switching back and forth from remote to in-person learning, isolation, and not being able to see their friends.

With teens now getting vaccinated, many parents are concerned for younger children under 12. Trials are underway for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for use among children, but it could be a year before that group gets vaccinated.

Public health experts say it's important to be careful, as we try to wade back "normal." That includes checking in on kids mental health, and paying attention to ongoing behavioral changes.

"Some basic things that we can do as parents, first of all, is to talk through concerns with them," said Parker Huston, a Pediatric Psychiatrist with National Children's Hospital. "Ask them how they're feeling about going back to school, and what are the things they're most excited about? What are the things they might be concerned about?" he asked.

Increased isolation, difficulty eating and sleeping, and mood changes, are other signs that something is wrong. Experts say talk to your kids about the decisions you're making, and why, when certain environments require you to mask up, or when you can go without.

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