Task Force Says 8-Year-Old Children Should Be Screened For Anxiety

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Says Children As Young As 8-Years-Old Should Be Screened For Anxiety

Everyone should prioritize their mental health, even children. When it comes to anxiety, new guidance from a leading panel of experts on health in the U.S. says that children as young as 8-years-old should be screened for anxiety.

According to The Hill, the recommendation comes from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which says that children between 8 and 18 years old should be examined for anxiety. In addition, minors between the ages of 12 and 18  should be screened for depressive disorder. The task force believes that the increased level in anxiety rates and the wide availability of screening tools means regular screening of anxiety should also be happening for children in the same age group. Reports also show children’s hospitals recorded nearly 38 percent more emergency department visits for mental health cases.

According to the Children’s Hospital Association, that is almost 54 percent more than suicide and self-harm cases in the third quarter of 2021 than in 2020, according to the Children’s Hospital Association.

The task force also says that untreated anxiety can have significant physical impacts in the short term. These impacts include headaches and stomachaches. Long-term effects can be more severe and could lead to poor academic performance and developmental delays. The guidance is important because it follows a rise in mental health struggles reported in children and teens.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a heightened view on mental health overall. The Hill also reports that more than a quarter of U.S. parents surveyed in a poll last month said that their child had seen a mental health specialist during the pandemic.

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