Health Tip: Dealing With Separation Anxiety

How to help your child say goodbye

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(HealthDay News) -- Separation anxiety occurs when a child is fearful of being left with someone else. While these feelings are normal, parents may not know how to react when a child becomes this upset.

If your child has symptoms of separation anxiety, follow these suggestions from the Nemours Foundation:

  • Try not to begin child care or day care between 8 and 12 months of age, when separation anxiety is most likely to start.
  • Try not to leave your child when she is tired or hungry -- try to schedule your departure after a meal or nap.
  • Gradually introduce your child to spending time alone with other people.
  • Be calm and consistent when leaving your child -- firmly tell her that you're leaving but that you'll be back, and give her a timeframe.
  • Follow through on promises you make, and don't show up late after you've promised your child to be back at a certain time.

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