It’s common for kids to feel nervous or worried about different things at different stages in their lives. It’s a normal part of childhood and growing up since they experience so many things for the first time, and that can be scary.
Kids can have many kinds of worries or fears like separation anxiety or phobias surrounding animals, insects, and the dark. However, many of these anxieties should dissipate over time. If your child’s well-being and quality of life starts to be affected, they may be struggling with an anxiety disorder.
Nauman Ahmad, MD, FAAP and our team at Pediatrician Specialty Practices wants to give you some warning signs of anxiety in kids so you can know whether or not your child needs some extra support in their day to day life.
How to spot anxiety in your child
While it’s normal for kids to be nervous from time to time, your child may have an anxiety disorder if they’re experiencing some of the following symptoms.
In younger children, anxiety can look like:
- Being irritable and clingy
- Wetting the bed
- Having nightmares
- Not being able to sleep well
Older kids with anxiety will have different symptoms, which can include:
- Lack of confidence in everyday activities
- Difficulty concentrating
- Poor sleep and eating habits
- Lots of negative and anxious thoughts
- Stomach problems that aren’t related to other health issues
Anxiety in kids can also look like a “fight, flight, or freeze” response with symptoms like sweating, shaking, rapid heartbeat, and nausea.
Treating anxiety in children
There can be a lot of contributing factors to your child’s anxiety from genetics to a big life change or traumatic event to a stressful family environment. It may be helpful to narrow down what’s triggering your child’s anxiety in order to help treat and manage it more efficiently.
Some helpful coping strategies for anxious children include:
- Practicing mindfulness and naming feelings
- Drawing pictures
- Sticking to a regular routine
It’s of utmost importance to encourage your child to ask for help when they need it, especially when they’re processing some really big emotions.
If you feel your child’s ability to function in day-to-day life is being affected by their anxiety, it’s important for them to be seen by a pediatrician in order to get them the best care that they need. Dr. Ahmad at Pediatrician Specialty Practices can provide care for your child and give you information as a caregiver as you navigate your child’s anxiety.
To learn more about anxiety in children, call our office located in Federal Way, Washington at 253-785-3388 or use our online booking tool to schedule an appointment with us today.