When a child's stress levels are too high various systems for thinking and metabolic recovery are compromised. The signs of when this is happening show up in the child's behaviour, or mood, or attention, or for that matter, physical well-being. Canadian children are dealing with far too much stress today.
Childhood is not quite the stress-free paradise that our rose-tinted memories might suggest. Children -- even infants -- can suffer from chronic, toxic stress. It's stress of a very different sort than that of meetings and mortgage payments, but its long-term effects can be no less serious. Last year, the American Academy of Pediatrics launched an urgent call to action informing healthcare practitioners of the dangers of toxic stress to children. Cleary, toxic stress is serious stuff. But what is it, exactly?
Many perceive childhood as a time of simplicity and play. However, children show stress in complex ways that can represent serious signs of anxiety or a nervous system that is overloaded. Our ability to reach as many kids as possible, teaching them the skills to manage their stress, can make all the difference in their future success.