Separation Anxiety—Behavioral Issues in Child Care and Schools

Separation anxiety is the distress that children show when being separated from their primary caregivers. It appears around 7 to 9 months of age in most children and can persist over time for children who tend to be shyer or less adaptable to new routines. In typical development, children can easily (within days or weeks) become comfortable with a safe separation, such as going into a quality child care setting. Separation anxiety disorder (SAD) is an excessive and developmentally inappropriate fear about separation from important caregivers.