When one of my kids was young, he dreaded going back to school. He had terrible anxiety, which is fairly common.

"I think one of our best tools for our kids is to be prepared and have open conversations about those things," says Dr. Tina Ardon, a Mayo Clinic family physician. "And there's lots of ways that we can do that as parents: either showing them pictures of their new school, explaining to them what that new routine will be like, or see if that school or day care setting has opportunities for an open house or some type of safe gathering to be able to see that environment."

And if your child has a tummy ache and doesn't want to go to school?

"I always tell parents that they know their kids best. So if something just doesn't feel right, you listen to your gut. If there's something such as a fever, vomiting, diarrhea, that's a bit different than saying my tummy just feels a little bit off or it's just bothering me a little bit. So always listen to your own self in terms of your kids and how you feel about the situation. But past that, if there aren't any acute symptoms, feel free to talk to your kid a little bit more about what else is going on in their life and then reach out to your doctor to see if further investigation is necessary."


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