Childhood trauma is described as a scary, dangerous, violent, or life-threatening event that happens to a child under 18 years old. After experiencing such an event, strong emotions and even physical reactions may be felt which can persist for a long time. Strong reactions to a traumatic event can also occur because a child knows, sees, or hears about others being hurt.
These types of events are sometimes referred to as ACES, or Adverse Childhood Experiences. Studies show that experiencing an adverse childhood event increases a child’s risk of developing physical and mental health problems during their lives.
Coping with trauma is different for each person. Here are some resources for talking with children, navigating how to deal with complex emotional situations, and advice for caregivers on dealing with trauma.