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Anxiety and depression can be hard to detect and diagnose in young children but these problems can start as young as the toddler years.

Anxious or depressed children may appear very shy, tend to avoid social contacts and withdraw from or overreact to unfamiliar situations. They may exhibit intense sadness, fears and worries and have problems eating and sleeping.

These problems can lead to low self-confidence, lack of social skills and risk of peer rejection as they develop.

Parents and caregivers need to pay attention to these early signs in order to help children overcome the long term negative impact of emotional problems.