Children with OCD, including toddlers, experience a wide range of symptoms. These may include an intense fear of germs, severe anxiety, obsessive fears about loved ones, or compulsive and repetitive behaviors that aren't related to normal, everyday routines, according to OCDLA.com.
Engaging in OCD behaviors, also referred to as rituals, helps little ones soothe unpleasant feelings, calming them down, explains KidsHealth. Unlike healthy self-soothing behaviors, OCD behaviors tend to be obtrusive and difficult to control. In young children, symptoms are often subtle and may be difficult to diagnose, notes Psychology Today. Parents may find that the first symptoms include low self-esteem, difficulty with making decisions, or frequent obsessions over a specific item or topic. OCD may also manifest as an obsession over parents or loved ones getting hurt, according to PsychCentral.com. Parents who suspect their toddler may be suffering from this disorder should schedule an appointment with a pediatrician for assessment.