Washington DC, 28 March 2023 (TDI): The United States (US) government has released a statement acknowledging that every year, children and adolescents experience disasters and other traumatic events.

The government recognizes that children and adolescents may have a range of reactions to these events and encourages adults to create a safe and supportive environment for them to cope.

It is typical for children and adolescents to experience physical problems such as stomachaches or headaches, nightmares, trouble concentrating, loss of interest in activities, and feelings of guilt or thoughts of revenge after experiencing a traumatic event.

Young children may cling to caregivers and cry, have tantrums or be irritable, and return to behaviors such as bed-wetting or thumb-sucking.

Older children and adolescents may have problems in school, withdraw or become isolated from family and friends, avoid reminders of the event, use drugs or alcohol, be disruptive or destructive, or be angry or resentful.

Role of adults

Adults play an essential role in helping children and adolescents cope with traumatic events.

Caregivers and family members can create a safe and supportive environment for children by ensuring their safety and basic needs are met, allowing them to express their emotions and limiting exposure to repetitive news reports about trauma.

In addition to, encouraging expression through talking, writing, or drawing can also be helpful.

Art and creativity helps children and adults cope with trauma and natural disasters

Adults can also help children and adolescents feel in control by letting them make some decisions for themselves, paying attention to sudden changes in behaviors, and contacting a health care provider if new problems develop.

It is important for adults to remain calm as possible and reduce stressors. Children and adolescents need to know that their family members love them and will do their best to take care of them.

Strength in togetherness

Furthermore, adults should not expect children and adolescents to be brave or tough, make them discuss the event before they are ready, get angry if they show strong emotions, or get upset if they begin bed-wetting, acting out, or thumb-sucking.

Most importantly, adults should also avoid making promises they can’t keep. While many of these reactions are normal and will lessen with time, if these symptoms last for more than a month, the family should reach out to a healthcare provider.

It is essential for adults to respond to trauma in a way that strongly influences how children and adolescents react to trauma. When caregivers and family members take steps to support their own ability to cope, they can provide better care for others.

Also Read: Kamala Harris meets Ted Lasso cast to discuss mental health awareness

Thus, creating a safe and supportive environment, remaining as calm as possible, and reducing stressors are key elements in helping children and adolescents cope with traumatic events.

In a nutshell, adults should provide care and support for those who have experienced trauma to promote healing and recovery. By doing so, we can help our youth cope with traumatic events and build resilience.