COVID-19 crisis threatens children’s mental health

ABC News’ Erielle Reshef explores how the pandemic and the upending of daily life is triggering anxiety and depression in children.
6:12 | 09/23/20

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Transcript for COVID-19 crisis threatens children’s mental health
As we hit another grim milestone in this pandemic in a sell many of our lives remain offended. We take a look now and how these uncertain times are impacting our children experts say the virus plus the isolation of virtual learning and social distancing from their friends all create a recipe for anxiety and depression ABC's aerial -- F. Has this report. The man. Why didn't your man backlit because he doesn't seem unit being. Their feelings so many kids are experiencing during these highly un usual times. Nine year old Anderson fields one of an estimated four point four million children nationwide coping with anxiety amid the covad nineteen pandemic. And one point nine million dealing with depression. This gives the okay disruptions. To daily life school vice screen mask mandates. Throwing off free teens and throwing families for a loop. The youngest generation navigating the isolation and uncertainty of this new normal. Childhood anxiety already on the rice prior to the pandemic according to recent studies there has been a 17%. Jump and anxiety diagnoses in children seventeen and younger over the past ten years and doctor Dave Anderson of the child's mind institute says. The current crisis is accelerating this trend. So egregiously do you remember fatal. During yeah. The issue of solar increase. Seen her actions in exile yeah. New Jersey mom to shake Clark say is she seeing a clear impact on her thirteen year old daughter Taylor and her nine year old son Anderson and her youngest still struggling like so many others to adjust to all of this change. I can definitely need structure a lot of star share and honor it hurts you. Create structure and were her and get it through. High school and me an age his mentioned to me my emotions. It's just and ask you tonight your goals. And how busy it was a solid best. New Shea says she noticed a shift in her son's behavior as the pandemic dragged on but what are some of the different. Behavior all pattern that you're seniors in the agency. Four. Showed me yeah when more patience we had a couple situations where. Even Jerry just kind of the normal routine at the dam and once we wearer. And with some friends socially just added sat in a little there are. Brady just kind of throws. That is scary thought. And I want to hug and it's harder eating out of his chest. And I had to hold brutal and he said you know the world really scary right. Oh and the clarks are not alone. Initiate as part of a network of family supporting one another their kids sharing a similar experience and her friend New Jersey mom Cynthia ver hot says. Social distancing only enhances the anxiety her six year old daughter Mattie naturally feels so. My youngest and particulars had a house had a challenging time adjusting to all of these changes and some of the things that would normally pretty cute it's more anxious that he is. You can't you they can't in the kind of play around with their plan. Who really kind of did a built up ray of light. Things I eighty and needs you kind of have that element and them and they get into the classroom. Do you know there are six feet apart and they're really tethered to their tasks which you know. Her young kids is highly unusual it's not what a typical first grade classroom at look like doctor. Anderson says he seemed more kids suffering from varying degrees of depression and anxiety. Not good. Early on a pandemic. We saw huge Sterger worried about her or so little known candidate the outside our transmission I was. So. You are worried optional. It is you wouldn't she seemed equally or sign we're seeing now is increased anxiety. And experts say especially now it's critical to watch your children carefully for signs of emotional distress. Even if they've never exhibited them before wouldn't want fruit juice on her. Actually just an excuse. Not to confront as a Jewish community anxious to get an accurate Judy you order your shy they're trying to Kuwait who thanks so let me. Situation there should swear yeah I am truly are what is. Our key question so she's looking she reassurance. Missing children are our shoes and NBC we used Sharon brown as the nurses saints turkeys were anxious we mustn't have difficulty on his successor shall. Stand machine. Revenues. And with millions of kids in the US learning from home experts say virtual schooling can exacerbate the psychological tolls. You tell us your words are not able to me she focuses. When you burn center where virtual. Or dirt worried and lady seemed kind of all. The Connors just in this format or who. You're. But while online schooling isn't perfect doctor Anderson says it is essential for kids to maintain a connection and as for some concrete ways to ease your child's anxiety. So when we focus on for excellence and here's her small donors today there are great. Interviewed John Rollins. You can easy call. A few weeks fears would really help. Us. What are you. Essential tools to help kids cope and families find their way through this extraordinary. Time. Gary L rat chef ABC news New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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