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Covid-19-related health anxiety in children

Early identification and treatment of Covid-19-related health anxiety is vital to avoiding long-term mental health problems in children and young adults, reveals a study published in Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy (September). Researchers at the University of Bath (UK) say that health anxieties can be triggered by lifestyle changes like returning to school. They say that children need time to readjust to the new routine and cope with emotions after prolonged stay-at-home periods.

Comments Dr. Jo Daniels clinical psychologist at Bath University and co-author of the study: “Children are not immune to worries about their health, or the health of those around them. It is essential that we are able to recognise when normal concerns about Covid become more problematic.” Daniels says signs of child stress may include tummy ache, sleep disorders; and in those highly stressed by health-related anxiety, excessive hand-washing, exaggerated avoidance of touching objects, or repeated reassurance seeking from adults, in addition to the usual symptoms of stress and worry.

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