YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Factors contributing to anxiety and stress in children can help parents understand how to teach kids to handle stress effectively.

“Many things happen in our world and communities today, and even our response to COVID that impacts the overall stress and anxiety young kids have,” said Missy McClain who serves as the Community Education Coordinator at Akron Children’s Hospital. “I think that as parents we really need to first think about how much exposure kids have to the news and certain information. We don’t want news playing 24 hours a day in the background.”

McClain says what we perceive as just background noise can be something children are really paying attention to and can be frightening for kids. Conversations held in the car or around the dinner table about community or world events are also something parents want to be mindful of.

“It’s okay to talk with kids about these issues,” said McClain. “But I always think about having them lead that conversation so we can take their lead.”

Normal signs of stress and anxiety in children can be a little bit of worrying, resistance to going to school or participating in sports, or even maybe a night or two of interrupted sleep. If your child has frequent sleep issues, changes the way they eat, avoids things they truly love, and withdraws from family entirely, these can be signs of a more serious issue.

McClain says it’s important to check in with your child if you see these signs becoming a trend and maybe even speak with a primary care physician.

For more information visit Akron Children’s Hospital online at