Kids, Stress & Anxiety—Why Kids Are Getting Stressed
Sometimes family life is like living in the fast lane! Our kids certainly have a rich life, full of opportunities and learning. Like us though, our kids can also experience this turbo charged life as stressful.
Stress can be very positive.
The adrenaline of a team sport can push children to perform at their best. Ongoing stress can however take a toll. Research indicates that children display stress in a different way to adults. Their response can often be overtly physical: crying, sweating palms, running away, defensive outbursts, headaches, hair twirling or pulling, chewing and sucking, biting of skin and fingernails, toileting accidents, and sleep disturbances.[i]
Stress can also deplete important nutrients, one of which is Magnesium. Research tells us 1 in 3 Australians over the age of 2 do not get enough magnesium with 65% of children aged 14 – 18 years receiving inadequate intake.[ii] How could this impact stress and our kids?
Magnesium is very important for the healthy functioning of the nervous system. If our kids are low in magnesium it can potentially affect their sleep, concentration and even their mood.
Deficiency symptoms include:
- low mood
- poor concentration.[iii]
Eating lots of green vegetables, legumes, seeds, beans, and nuts, all of which usually contain more than 500mg/kg, is a good way to keep up magnesium levels in the diet.[iv] Also consider Epsom Salt baths. High in magnesium, an Epsom Salt bath is good stress relief at the end of a long day.
While supplements do not replace a healthy diet, they can be helpful in some cases and there are many to choose from! Magnesium oxide is used very commonly, however research on bioavailability tends to indicate that forms such as magnesium citrate and orotate are better absorbed by the body.[v]
If you have any ongoing concerns about your child’s stress levels or associated issues please see your general practitioner or health care provider.
[i] Jewett J, Peterson K. Stress and young children. ERIC Digest, 2002.
[iii] Braun L, Cohen M. Herbs & natural supplements: an evidence-based guide 3rd ed. Sydney (AU), Churchill Livingstone. 2010
[iv] WHO. Vitamin and mineral requirements in human nutrition : Second Ed. Thailand, 2004
[v] Braun L, Cohen M. Herbs & natural supplements: an evidence-based guide 3rd ed. Sydney (AU), Churchill Livingstone. 2010