General malaise, abdominal pain, apathy or sadness, symptoms that children may present before returning to school


S. F.




Dr. María Mínguez, head of the pediatric service of Quirónsalud Torrevieja, warns Ep of the increase in consultations for symptoms such as general malaise, headache or abdominal pain, apathy or sadness that children typically manifest due to the anxiety caused by returning to the school. These symptoms are usually transient and improve after passing the transition process. However, if they persist, Dr. Mínguez recommends visiting the pediatrician to rule out that their cause is an organic problem.

Another important aspect is the adaptation to the new schedules, for which Dr. Gonzalo Pin, sleep specialist and head of the pediatric service at Quirónsalud Valencia, recommends adapting all the child’s rhythms to the new schedule, advancing, every three days approximately all actions such as getting up, having breakfast, lunch, dinner and bedtime, so that, as indicated by the specialist, “We will gradually adapt to the new typical schedule of the school stage”.

It also advises that parents adopt an always positive attitude that helps them overcome this period of adaptation and the symptoms disappear more quickly. Within that carrying any weight forces the body to an extra effort, the loads maintained over time such as school backpacks can cause problems.

Dr. Luis Sánchez Navas, traumatologist at Quirónsalud Alicante, recommends that when buying a backpack those that are most attached to the back be purchased and avoid that they are too soft or deformable to prevent the wobbling that forces children to compensate their weight with a multitude of relatively abrupt and uncoordinated efforts that can multiply the effort and the effective weight of the backpack.

Dr. Sánchez advises that they lean better on the dorsal area than on the lumbar area, since the compensatory gesture of bending forward is more natural in the thoracic spine. “The most appropriate thing, he warns, is for the backpack to be fixed firmly, with a chest strap, that fits well, relatively rigid, placed in the dorsal area and wider than deep, the better.”

Decalogue for a healthy return to school

Dr. Adalgisa de Caro, from the pediatric service of the Quirónsalud Hospital in Murcia, advises following a series of tips for a smooth return to school, such as progressively adapt to school hours one or two weeks before the start of the course; and set the time to go to sleep and get up, because in this way we will prevent them from being tired on the first day of class.

Stick to schedules even on weekends and take advantage of the vacations that we still have to establish a habit as healthy as breakfast with the family; in addition to preparing the school supplies with them, buying the books, covering them, preparing the school uniform or clothing, the backpack; and help them with their summer homework review, always reinforcing and praising them for their achievements.

Talk to them about the positive things that the start of the new course implies, like meeting your friends, meeting new children, learning things or excursions; listen to children, answer their questions, concerns and fears; and doing physical activities in the afternoons such as going to the park, riding a bike, and rollerblading to help them release stress and remove worries and fears from their minds.

Accompany our children on the first day of school and pick them up, being punctual and being happy, being interested in everything they tell us about their experience and not transmitting our anxiety, fears and laziness when it comes to having to return to our respective jobs.

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