two teenage girls walking down the sidewalk wearing backpacks

Image Credit: Clarisse Meyer

For some children, going back to school is a stressful time. Children have to transition back into a heavily structured schedule, adjust to being in a new class, and decide which table to sit at for lunch.

This year back to school anxiety is likely much higher due to the ramifications of the Coronavirus pandemic.

How Coronavirus Increases Uncertainty about Going Back to School

When it comes to going back to school in the age of coronavirus, kids and parents alike simply don’t know what to expect. Some schools may be conducting the school year entirely online, while other children might be attending in-person, or a hybrid of the two. Each one of these options brings its own set of stressors.

Kids and Back to School Anxiety: Online or In-Person

For children attending school online, worry about how to navigate their computer programs might cause back to school anxiety. They may also wonder if they are being left out of social activities that their friends at in-person schools could be experiencing. Furthermore, they may also struggle with a lack of structure that is more prevalent when attending school in person.

Children completing school in-person, on the other hand, may be nervous about having to wear a mask and/or the health risks posed by Coronavirus. They may also be experiencing anxiety due to all the talk on the news and from other sources about going back to school and the risks posed by Coronavirus.

Parents and Back to School Anxiety

Parents of online learners may be just as stressed. They may wonder how to help their child stay on track with their assignments, worry about whether their child will be engaged enough, and question how they are supposed to get their own work done while their child stays home each day.

There could also be back to school anxiety for parents of kids who are attending in-person classes. No matter how prepared the school district may be, it is natural to have concerns about whether the environment will be safe.

Signs Your Child May Have Back-to School Anxiety

Depending on your child’s age, they may not have the language to express their feelings and thoughts about going back to school. While every parent knows when their child is behaving differently, there are some key signs of anxiety to keep an eye out for, including:

  • Lack of concentration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Reduced energy
  • Increased defiance or irritability
  • Sleep disruptions
  • Reduced appetite
  • School Refusal
  • Nausea, dizziness, and/or muscle tension
  • Crying and/or overall sadness

Constipation Prevention and Management During Anxious Times

Stress impacts the entire body, including the gastrointestinal tract, and it can lead to increased risk of constipation in children (and adults!).

If children feel unsafe or uncomfortable with big life changes, they might develop what is commonly referred to as “pooping anxiety.” Children with pooping anxiety may end up withholding stool as a reaction to stress, which can lead to constipation.

In order to help alleviate or prevent constipation caused by back to school anxiety, there are several things parents can do, including:

  • Ensure their child is getting an adequate amount of daily fiber in their diet;
  • Make sure their child stays hydrated;
  • Encourage daily exercise even if they are not getting P.E. classes at school;
  • set up regular times each day to try going to the bathroom (first thing in the morning and 30-60 minutes after a meal are best);
  • Keep to a regular sleep schedule; and
  • Talk about stressors and concerns their child has about going back to school, whether it’s online, in-person, or a combination of both.

This is a stressful time for everyone, but being proactive can help keep kids – and parents – be as healthy and safe as possible.

DocuSol® Kids Can Help!

DocuSol® Kids is a first-of-its-kind, mini enema with a non-irritating formula that functions as a stool-softening, hyperosmotic laxative by drawing water into the bowel from surrounding body tissues, replicating a normal bowel movement. This unique formulation provides children ages 2–12 fast, predictable relief of constipation within 2 – 15 minutes.

DocuSol® Kids was designed for easy use at home. The DocuSol® Kids tube is designed to offer a minimally invasive, soft, and flexible tip, avoiding any scratching or irritation to the skin. Just a 5-milliliter tube delivering 100mg of docusate sodium, the medication provides fast relief in just a few, easy steps!

Learn more about DocuSol® Kids on our website, including where to buy, doctor tips, family resources, and frequently asked questions.


The material contained is for reference purposes only. Alliance Labs, LLC, and Summit Pharmaceuticals do not assume responsibility for patient care. Consult a physician prior to use. Copyright 2020 Summit Pharmaceuticals and Alliance Labs, LLC.


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