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Trauma Reactions in Children

Trauma Reactions in Children

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Published by Alesha Rose

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Published by: Alesha Rose on Apr 14, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/09/2012

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Like adults,most children's reactions diminishover time.Parents and other adults can help therecovery process in the following ways:
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Keep communicating:talk about what ishappening and how family members feel.Thishelps prevent children from feeling alone,isolated and misunderstood
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Reassure children that they are safe and will becared for
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Listen and talk to them about the experience.Honest,open discussion is best - even veryyoung children know something has happened.Like adults,the unknown is often morefrightening than the reality for children
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Some children will need extra encouragementor special attention,especially at bedtime
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Allow expression of emotions - they are partof the healing process;support the child andallow them time to work through it
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Do things as a family and make sure time isreserved for enjoyable and rewardingexperiences together;shared pleasure carries afamily through many difficulties
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Keep family roles clear.Don't expect childrento take too much responsibility but,equally,donot become too overprotective.Like adults,most children will adapt and growthrough crisis with the love and support of theirfamily and friends.However,if the child's reactionsare particularly severe or prolonged,or if you haveother concerns about the way your child is reactingto a traumatic incident,contact someone who istrained to assess the situation and advise you.If the following common reactions continue for morethan a few days they should alert parents to thepossibility of more serious trauma reactions and theneed for further help:
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Severe and continued sleep disturbance
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Severe anxiety on separation from loved ones
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Continued fears about things which may remindthe child of the trauma
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Behaviour problems at home or school
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Self-doubts,a desire for withdrawal or othersignificant changes in emotions or personality
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A return to "babyish" behaviour that the childhad grown out ofIf you are concerned,talk to your family doctor,community health centre or school counsellor.You may wish to ask for a referral to a mental healthpractitioner who specialises in child trauma.Thedepartment of psychiatry in your local children’shospital is also a good source of information,supportand treatment if required.
When To Seek Assistance
To find out more about PTSD,other veteranand military mental health issues or theAustralian Centre,please contact us at:AUSTRALIAN CENTRE FOR POSTTRAUMATICMENTAL HEALTH (INC.)A&RMC,300 Waterdale Road,Heidelberg Heights3081 AUSTRALIA.Telephone:(03) 9496 2922Facsimile:(03) 9496 2830Email:acpmh-info@unimelb.edu.auWebSite:www.acpmh.unimelb.edu.au
PosttraumaticStress Disorder
GENERAL INFORMATION
TraumaReactionsin Children
No 6 in the PTSD series of Australian Centre brochures

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