By Chris Hoffman

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Children may not like to hear this, but school is just around the corner. The world is getting back to normal, but isn’t there quite yet.

AHN Assistant Chair of Pediatrics Dr. Joe Aracri said some kids may face anxiety going back to class.

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“I’m really concerned there might be a little bit of school anxiety going back after having a year sitting out doing Zoom meetings or going hybrid,” he said.

Dr. Aracri said some children have had limited to no social interactions over the past year and a half. That can impact children of any age, as they each face their own challenges.

“They might have some misconceptions about where their social standings stand. So it’s really important to get them used to socializing and knowing that things are going to be okay there,” Dr. Aracri said over Zoom.

Here’s what you can do over the next month to get your kids ready. Dr. Aracri recommends walking past the school, the playground, or getting in touch with your child’s teacher. He recommends they socialize with their friends before class starts.

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“Try to make that transition as easy as possible and as exciting as possible. Talk up the benefits of actually being in school as opposed to being in your bed with a laptop and chocolate chip cookies,” Dr. Aracri said.

He wants parents to be prepared for their child to be exposed to the common cold again. He has seen a resurgence after people were in quarantine.

“Expect your child to get sick. Your child will get sick this year, this school year, especially being separated for such a long time and viruses can last anywhere from 10-12 days,” Dr. Aracri said over Zoom.

The best thing he suggests is just talking to your child and being there if they want to talk with you.

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“I think as parents and as educators, we have to realize that every child is different and each child is going to have a different challenge this year,” Dr. Aracri said.