In the first month after traumatic events, it’s very common for children and adolescents to have bad memories and to avoid things that remind them of the event (e.g. places, people, etc.). Children and adolescent can also become anxious, nervous, and/ or have problems concentrating.
Such reactions are perfectly normal in the first few weeks and are no cause for concern.
If you’re concerned about your child’s well-being and if you don’t know if to consult a mental health care professional is advisable, let your child fill out the Trauma-Check (not before at least 5 days have passed since the traumatic event).
Studies show that parents tend to underestimate the psychological stress their children experience following traumatic events, compared to their self-reported problems. This applies in particular to thoughts and mood (e.g. whether and how frequent unwanted images are experienced) and emotional problems (e.g. feelings of guilt, shame, etc.). Therefore, have your child fill out the Trauma-Check to get a more accurate assessment of the problems your child might experiences. Afterwards, discuss the result together and involve your child if you are looking for professional advice.
In case your child shows specific symptoms, your child also get tips on how to cope with them.
Information and Tips
Every child and adolescent reacts differently after being exposed to traumatic events. Common symptoms after a traumatic event fall into five categories: Bad memories/nightmares, Anxiety, Nervousness, Feelings of depersonalization/derealization, and Feeling down. In addition, traumatic events occurred to children and adolescents can cause feelings of guilt in their parents.
Find out more about these symptoms and how you can support your child to cope with them by clicking the corresponding buttons.
If you are concerned as a parent or if the Trauma-Check resulted in a recommendation to seek professional advice, you can use the KidTrauma function Specialist Contacts (website or mobile-app) to search for mental health care experts in the field of child and adolescent psychotraumatolgy in your area.
Here you can download helpful brochures and find links to further information.