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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Children

Surviving a traumatic event or series of events is only the first step in the journey toward healing for children with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is experienced by millions of children each year as a result of personal, community, national, and global traumatic events. Trauma poses a particular concern for children because of their vulnerability and because of the risk to their development. The world generates new trauma, loss, and harm to young people on a daily basis, so caregivers must understand and respond meaningfully to children’s experiences. One study of children under age 4 found that 26% had been exposed to a potentially traumatic event, with the rate of exposure higher for children living in poverty or with certain other risk factors. ...

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