Is your child experiencing ‘winter burnout’?

Is your child experiencing ‘winter burnout’?

Parents should be on high alert for signs of burnout at this stage of the term.

Dr Sam Vlcek is available for media interviews following her article, Is your child experiencing ‘winter burnout’? Here’s what to look out for, in The Conversation.

Key points:

  • Children often miss more school days in the winter months, as sickness and burn out become common.
  • When children are absent they are isolated from their peers. Children at school may also feel lonely when their friends are away.
  • When children are burned out, we see more school refusal, sleeping a lot more or finding it difficult to get to sleep, increases in appetite or eating a lot less, coming home excessively tired, being less interested in talking about their day, or having more arguments with friends. Children may also try to avoid attending extracurricular activities or family events they typically enjoy.
  • When fatigue and anxiousness last for more than a few days, we can see children not want to socialise with peers, which in turn can lead to social problems and further isolation.
  • Without proactive supports, research shows being burned out can lead to ongoing reductions in physical fitness, attention span and working memory (where we hold short-term information).

Dr Samantha Vlcek is an expert in inclusive education. Her research focuses on equitable practices for all students, with a specific emphasis on the rights of students with disability and students facing forms of educational disadvantage.


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