All infants and toddlers become angry or have tantrums at times. The following symptoms might indicate the child has experienced a traumatic event if they are excessive or interfere with the child’s or family’s lives.

  • Unusually high level of anger
  • Tantrums that do not stop within a few minutes
  • Inability to be soothed or comforted
  • Agitation
  • Heightened startle response (easily startled)
  • Terrified responses to sights, sounds, etc., that remind the child of the trauma
  • New fears
  • Loss of skills such as use of the toilet and/or speech (children at this age may quit speaking)
  • Aggression towards family and others
  • Fear of adults who remind them of the trauma
  • Fear of being separated from parent or caregiver
  • Eating problems such as loss of appetite, low weight or digestion issues
  • Nightmares
  • Sleeplessness
  • Irritability
  • Listlessness
  • Withdrawal from previously trusted adults
  • Avoidance of eye contact and/or physical contact


More about symptoms:

3 to 5 (preschool)

6 to 12 (elementary school)

13-18 (middle and high school)


Upset Toddler