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Experts say post-pandemic anxiety could linger for years in children

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- As the pandemic begins to settle, experts at UCHealth are now saying that children may experience post-pandemic anxiety for many years to come.

SJ Purcell is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with UCHealth and said their office has seen an influx of elementary children who are presenting symptoms of anxiety including clinginess, anger outbursts, difficulty sleeping, and more.

Purcell suggested that parents sit down with their kids and talk about the feelings they're experiencing to get to the root of the issue, instead of just focusing on the behavior they're displaying.

One of the factors that may cause young children anxiety is the de-masking of many around them. Some kids feel conscious with their masks off and others have come to grow fearful of germs.

Doctors tell parents to look out for the physical signs of anxiety first.

“Sometimes our physical being is our first response. Your hands' clenches, your jaw clenches, you get a stomach ache," Purcell said. If your child has any of these physical symptoms, it may be a sign of something else going on.

Purcell said to be patient with your child as they reacclimate to post-pandemic norms.

As adults, Purcell reminds us we have a long history of experience proving everything is going to be okay. Small children don't have that perspective just yet.

For more information on handling COVID-19 stress in children, click here.

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Riley Carroll

Riley is a weekend anchor and reporter for KRDO. Learn more about her here.



  1. The Liberal’s plan is working well. A bunch of mentally challenged future Democratic voters.

  2. I don’t know why anyone, least of all children, would be having trouble adjusting to a new “normal.” I mean, only 1.34 million Americans have died from this virus. Only 12,000+ folks in our state, and only 1,600+ in El Paso County in the last two years. You know, while PTA moms and maga dudes stormed the sidewalks and school boards to defend their right to…do something. Meanwhile, every one of their loser leaders sits safely inoculated. Sad. Very sad.

  3. Virus is active 7-10 days. Untreated, an inflammatory response may ensue. It is the untreated, undertreated, or mal-treated pneumonia/inflammatory condition that NEEDLESSLY killed thousands. The trooth is coming out.

  4. And yet, a rape survivor who cannot tolerate a mask is belittled, threatened with arrest, and publicly shamed. I was told by multiple “officials” that my PTSD didn’t exist and to “suck it up”

    1. Lynn I am so sorry you have had to deal with such ugliness..
      Ma God continue to heal you.

  5. The people that said “follow the science” for two years are the same people that can’t define what a woman is.

    1. “What is a woman?”
      I would have loved to have been there to answer that question.
      It would start with getting fully undressed and getting a male volunteer to do the same.

  6. Yes. Kids must feel anxiety. Just look at the people they’ve got to contend with in the world.

  7. This is why I fought hard for my kids. Our school was one of the first to drop masks, keep events and sports and keep kids engaged and socializing. I kept my kids socializing as it is very important to their health. My kids are doing fine and have no issues from COVID restrictions.
    Funny how they seem to just now be realizing the damaging affects of masking and other restrictions on the population that is at little to no risk from COVID. Schools that masked and didn’t mask had the same numbers. Go figure.

    1. This study in no way implicated wearing masks as the culprit for Covid anxiety. Covid itself was the nexus for the children’s anxiety. I’m not saying you haven’t been a good parent and taken good care of your kids’ emotional health, VT. But this virus has killed MILLIONS of people. The restrictions and vaccines have saved millions of lives, whether you choose to believe it or not. The conflict between people who followed guidelines and people who raged against them was undoubtably an added stress to every child.

      1. Are you kidding me? The conflict between people? Where have you been? The restrictions and vax? sumdaze…what can say? Just sad…so sad

      2. Did you read the article….
        “One of the factors that may cause young children anxiety is the de-masking of many around them. Some kids feel conscious with their masks off and others have come to grow fearful of germs.”

        Kids have been shrouded in fear to wear a mask when they are not at risk and now many are germaphobes instead of being kids. This is a burden that should never have been placed on their young minds who can’t process it correctly. Their parents can got o work without a mask but they have to keep one on all day at school. Makes them feel like they are the problem. I could go on and on. UC Health did a study and they said on of the biggest factors in kids depression, anxiety and social interaction is the mask.

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