What Are Some Tics Caused by Stress in Children?


Quick Answer

Some tics caused by stress in children include blinking the eyes, clapping hands, stretching the neck, facial grimacing and mouth movements, according to Charlotte Parent magazine. Other tics include arm, leg or hand jerking, and vocal tics, such as sniffing, grunting and throat clearing. Children are incapable of recognizing and dealing with stressful situations in their lives, which can result in developing tics among other stress responses.

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A tic is a spontaneous, repetitive, uncontrollable and nonrhythmic movement involving a particular group of muscles. Children are not able to consciously hold back a tic just as anyone cannot hold back a sneeze or yawn, as Charlotte Parent magazine notes. Parents should take their children to a pediatrician upon first noticing a tic. In rare cases, a tic can indicate more serious conditions, such as PANDAS and Tourette’s syndrome.

Tics are common in children, and around 24 percent of children experience tics at some point. However, boys are about three or four times more likely to develop them than girls. Tics normally begin at any age during childhood, but they often go undetected in children under 2 years of age, as Charlotte Parent magazine reports. Tics usually occur gradually and last anywhere from a few weeks to a year before disappearing.

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