Childhood Anxiety Symptoms Checklist (Know the Symptoms)

Dorothy Clark

Childhood anxiety symptoms checklist

A child’s life can be negatively impacted by childhood anxiety, which is a major problem. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that before the age of 18, one in three American children will suffer from an anxiety condition. As a result, if you know three children, one of them is probably dealing with anxiety. Hence, the importance of childhood anxiety symptoms checklist.

Anxiety can take many forms in children, from separation anxiety to social anxiety to specific phobias. It can manifest as excessive worrying, avoidance of certain situations or activities, or physical symptoms such as stomachaches or headaches. And while some level of anxiety is normal and even necessary for a child’s development, excessive or prolonged anxiety can interfere with their daily life, academic performance, and social relationships.

Although it is common, childhood anxiety is frequently misdiagnosed and mistreated. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America claims that only 20% of children with anxiety problems receive therapy (ADAA). This may be caused by a variety of things, such as a lack of knowledge among parents and medical professionals, the stigma associated with mental illness, and restricted access to resources for mental health.

The good news is that early intervention can make a big difference in a child’s long-term outcomes and that childhood anxiety can be treated. With the right help and support, children with anxiety can learn to regulate their symptoms and thrive.

What is childhood anxiety symptoms checklist

The childhood anxiety symptoms checklist is an important tool for identifying, understanding, and treating childhood anxiety, which can have a significant impact on a child’s quality of life and future mental health.

Childhood anxiety symptoms checklist

childhood anxiety symptoms checklist

The childhood anxiety symptoms checklist can be view as an image. It is also available in black and white for download. And also in coloured format for download. Whichever you decide to use. Note: They are all the same checklist just in different format.

Important of childhood anxiety symptoms checklist

  • Early detection: By being aware of the symptoms of childhood anxiety, parents and caregivers can identify the problem early on and seek appropriate treatment.
  • Understanding: The checklist helps parents and caregivers understand what their child is going through and recognize that their behavior may be due to anxiety rather than just “bad behavior.”
  • Communication: The checklist can also be a useful tool for communication between parents, caregivers, and healthcare professionals, as it provides a common language for describing the child’s symptoms.
  • Prevention: By addressing childhood anxiety early on, it may be possible to prevent more serious mental health issues from developing later in life.
  • Treatment: Once anxiety is identified, appropriate treatment can be provided. This may include therapy, medication, or a combination of both.

Early signs of anxiety in toddlers

Anxiety is a normal part of life, especially for toddlers. It’s common for children to be concerned or anxious about new experiences or changes in routine. Yet, as parents and caregivers, it is essential to understand the signs of anxiety in toddlers so that we may help them manage and feel more secure.

Here are some common early signs of anxiety in toddlers:

  • Clinginess: If your child is suddenly more attached to you than normal, this could be a sign of anxiety. They may feel irritated if you leave them or insist on holding them all the time.
  • Sleep disturbances: Anxiety can also affect your toddler’s sleep patterns. They may have trouble falling asleep, wake up frequently during the night, or have nightmares. 
  • Irritability: If your child seems more grumpy or easily frustrated than normal, it could be a sign of anxiety. They could be feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
  • Avoidance: Some toddlers will attempt to avoid situations or activities that cause them anxiety. They may, for example, refuse to attend daycare or avoid playing with certain toys.

Anxiety can induce physical symptoms in toddlers, such as stomachaches, headaches, and a racing heart.

If you notice any of these symptoms in your toddler, be patient and understanding. Assure them that they are safe and loved, and strive to create a routine that is calm and predictable.

Related: Depression in Young Children: Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

Anxiety Symptoms in Children Aged 5–10

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorders in children, affecting around 1 in 8 children. It’s important to understand anxiety symptoms in children between the ages of 5 and 10, as they can impact a child’s well-being and development.

Childhood anxiety physical symptoms checklist

When it comes to anxiety in children between the ages of 5 and 10, it’s not just behavioral symptoms that can be a concern. Here are some common physical symptoms of anxiety in children:


Anxiety can cause children to experience frequent stomachaches. This happens because anxiety can activate the body’s “fight or flight” response, which can affect the digestive system and cause discomfort.


Anxiety can also cause headaches in children. These headaches can be mild or severe, and they can happen frequently or infrequently. They may feel like tightness or pressure in the head.

Muscle tension

Anxiety can cause the muscles in the body to tense up, resulting in aches and pains. Children may complain of sore muscles in their neck, shoulders, back, or legs.


Anxiety can be exhausting for children. They may feel tired and worn out even if they haven’t done much physical activity.


When children feel anxious, they may sweat more than usual. This can be embarrassing and uncomfortable for them.

Rapid heartbeat

Anxiety can cause a child’s heart to beat faster, which can feel like their heart is racing or pounding in their chest.

Breathing difficulties or shortness of breath

Anxiety can make it harder for children to breathe normally in some cases. They may feel as if they can’t catch their breath or that their chest is tight.

Dizziness or lightheaded

Anxious children may experience dizziness or lightheadedness, making them feel as though they might pass out.

Shaking or trembling

Anxious children may tremble or shake, especially in their hands or legs.

Dry mouth or trouble swallowing

Anxious Children may have this difficulty. They may find it challenging to eat or drink as a result.

Nausea or vomiting

In some cases, anxiety can make children feel nauseous or even cause them to vomit.

Changes in appetite or weight

Anxiety can affect a child’s appetite, causing them to either eat more or less than usual. This can lead to changes in their weight.

Insomnia or difficulty sleeping

Children with anxiety may experience trouble sleeping or staying asleep, even if they feel tired.

Fidgeting or restlessness

anxious children may get restless or feel the need to move about. They might shift around or wriggle in their seat.

Increased urge to use the restroom

Because anxiety can have an impact on the bowel and bladder, children may feel as though they need to use the restroom more frequently than usual.

Note: If you notice any of these physical symptoms in your child, it’s important to talk to them about how they’re feeling and seek professional help if necessary. Anxiety is treatable, and with the right support, your child can learn to manage their symptoms and lead a healthy, happy life. 

Behavioral Symptoms of childhood anxiety

  • Avoidance: Children with anxiety may avoid situations or activities that trigger their anxiety. For example, they may refuse to go to school or social events.
  • Clinging: Children with anxiety may excessively cling to their parents or caregivers and also find it difficult to be separated from them.
  • Tantrums: Anxiety can cause children to have emotional outbursts, such as tantrums or crying spells.
  • Perfectionism: Children with anxiety may have high expectations for themselves and be overly critical of their performance.
  • Irritability: Anxiety can make children feel easily frustrated or irritated.
  • Restlessness: Children with anxiety may have trouble sitting still or focusing on one task.
  • Excessive worry: Children with anxiety may worry excessively about a variety of things, such as school, relationships, and health.
  • Difficulty concentrating: Anxiety can make it hard for children to concentrate or pay attention in class or other settings.
  • Seeking reassurance: Children with anxiety may constantly seek reassurance from parents or caregivers, asking questions like “Are you sure everything is going to be okay?”
  • Rituals or compulsions: Children with anxiety may develop rituals or compulsions, such as checking things repeatedly or lining up objects in a particular way.

Note: These behavioral symptoms can be a normal part of childhood, but if they are interfering with your child’s daily life, it may be best to seek professional help to address any underlying anxiety. 

Related: How to Successfully Manage Frustration in Children

How to help your anxious child

Being a parent or caregiver and seeing your child struggle with anxiety can be difficult. You may, however, take steps that will make your anxious child feel more secure and comfortable.

  • Listen and validate their feelings. If your child expresses anxiety or fear, it’s important to listen to them and acknowledge their feelings. Tell them it’s okay to feel anxious and that you’re there to support them.
  • Model calm behavior. Children often look to their parents or caregivers for cues on how to react to situations. Model calm behavior and positive coping strategies, such as deep breathing or taking a break when feeling overwhelmed.
  • Create a safe and supportive environment. Provide a safe and supportive environment for your child at home. This can include establishing routines, setting boundaries, and providing opportunities for them to relax and unwind.
  • Encourage healthy habits. Encourage your child to engage in healthy habits, such as exercise, eating well, and getting enough sleep. These habits can help reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Teach coping mechanisms. Help your child build coping mechanisms that will enable them to control their anxiety. Deep breathing, progressive muscular relaxation, and mindfulness exercises are a few examples.
  • Seek professional help. If your child’s anxiety is interfering with their daily life, it may be worth seeking professional help from a mental health professional. They can provide additional support and guidance on how to manage anxiety.

Note: Helping your anxious child takes time and patience. Be sure to show your child that you love and support them and that you are there to help them through their anxiety. 

Final thought

Childhood anxiety symptoms are a common and serious issue that affects many children worldwide. It can have negative impacts on children’s emotional, social, and academic functioning, as well as their overall well-being.

With the help of childhood anxiety symptoms checklist, you can easily identify, prevent or manage anxiety in your children.

Parents, caregivers, and educators can play a vital role in recognizing and managing childhood anxiety symptoms by creating supportive environments, teaching coping strategies, and seeking professional help when necessary.

For More Articles: Visit A Mom And More.

Photo of author

By Dorothy Clark

Dorothy Clark is a stay-at-home mom of two beautiful girls. She's hoping her experience as a mother and a wife can help others in their various family dynamics.

Leave a Comment