Kids Coping With Stress

1 decade 2 years 5 months ago Wednesday, August 15 2007 Aug 15, 2007 Wednesday, August 15, 2007 4:35:02 PM CDT August 15, 2007 in News

Cianna Means is only 14 years old, but she has a schedule that would rival any adult's.

"It's very exhausting," she said.

In addition to summer school, karate, and Girl Scouts, Cianna also volunteers for several non-profit organizations.

"Just running around, getting ready to go to school, coming home, changing out of your uniform, getting a quick bite to eat. And getting ready for something else."

This kind of hectic schedule is not that unusual for kids these days, says pediatric psychologist Julie Reeker.

"I think the biggest stressors these days are for kids just doing too many different things," she said.

Reeker says kids often don't know how to express their stress verbally, and it may show up physically as headaches, nausea or behavioral problems. Parents can identify these signs of stress, and discuss it.

"Let's look at all your activities, the different things that you're engaged in doing, and what's stressful for you? What do you find is too much? And really listen to the child and take their lead on things," said Reeker.

Some ways to help kids to deal with their stress are scheduling more free time, helping your child set realistic expectations, teaching your child ways to relax through techniques such as breathing, journal keeping, and drawing.

Cianna says talking to her mother and others helps her cope with stress and balance her busy schedule.

"I think talking to somebody about it or letting them know how you feel or what was going on throughout the day and having them talk to you about it. So if they get an understanding of it and maybe they can help you," she said. 

Reported by NBC's Bruce Hensel.

Of course, regular exercise, a healthy diet, and a good night's sleep are very important to stress management.

A New Kind of Acupuncture

There's a new twist on an age old treatment for stress. If you are like 1 in 3 Americans who suffer from high levels of stress, acupuncture might be a solution. Doctors are now trying laser acupuncture.

They say the low-level laser treatment triggers the body's natural healing process and relieve stress. No word yet on when the treatment will be heading for mid-Missouri.

Preparing For an Attack

What would you do if your child had an asthma attack? What if your child's friend had an asthma attack?Doctors are hoping action plans will clear up any confusion.

Doctors are filling out action plans in case a child has an attack. The plans are given to schools, sports teams, and anyone else the kids come in contact with.

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