While some children may only experience a few worries and bad memories that quickly go away, other children may develop long-lasting reactions that will benefit from treatment. Parents should watch for these reactions in children exposed to difficult events:

  • Frequent memories and/or nightmares of the event
  • Getting easily upset when reminded of the event
  • Avoiding activities, places, or people associated with the event
  • Often “zoning out”, spending time alone, and/or having trouble remembering parts of the event
  • Trouble getting to sleep and/or staying asleep
  • Loss of interest in activities the youth used to enjoy
  • Frequently cranky, upset, and/or nervous
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Easily startled or jumpy

A parent whose child is having reactions up to 1 month after the event occurred may want to have their child seen by a therapist with specialized training in child trauma assessment and treatment. The therapist can then determine if treatment might help reduce the child’s stress reactions. All CCAN Child Trauma Services Program therapists have specialized training in child trauma assessment and treatment.

Do all children who experience a trauma need treatment?