Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorders in children with clearly defined and empirically based treatment. However, assessment and treatment pose several obstacles for pediatric providers. A child who may have age-appropriate communication skills will still struggle to accurately report the presence, timing, and severity of symptoms. Reports from parents, caregivers, and teachers are often subjective and can focus on 1 aspect of the child’s behavior. Untreated, anxiety disorders have an adverse effect on a child’s functioning, and impairments in physical health, academic performance, and social competence can lead to lifelong consequences. Well-validated and rapidly administered screening tools can be used to gather data from schools and other resources to inform the diagnosis, guide treatment recommendations, and track improvements. Limited training on behavioral health diagnosis and fear of “black box warnings” have left many pediatric clinicians reluctant to prescribe medications. There are readily available practice guidelines for these medications, and data documenting the efficacy of these medications for children should encourage their use.

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