Anxiety disorders affect around 5% of the paediatric population at any given time and are associated with high social and personal impact. These disorders typically begin early in life, and children with anxiety disorders are at increased risk for a variety of later difficulties across the life-span. Although causes of anxiety in childhood are not fully understood, there is a strong heritable component. Additional risk factors include temperament, parent psychopathology, parent handling and peer interactions. Psychological treatments have demonstrated good efficacy with around 60% of anxious youth being in diagnostic remission immediately following treatment and a further 10% remitting over the following months. Because young people with anxiety disorders are among the least likely to seek appropriate help, paediatricians are in a unique position to identify anxious young people, educate families and recommend appropriate intervention.