Reaction to Trauma
“During a crisis, children and their needs are often overlooked. This is not intentional, but comes from a lack of understanding about children and how they express their worries, concerns and needs. Children are especially at risk during and after a crisis because they have limited language to express their needs and fears, no experience with devastating events, few coping skills, little control over their environment, and are dependent on others for recovery.
Children’s needs are unique. After a critical incident they worry. “Will this happen again?” “Will someone else I love be hurt or killed?” “If it happens again, who will take care of me?” After a critical incident (disaster), these concerns are very real to a child, as someone they love has died.
I know of a 7 year old boy who imagined he would be alone, completely on his own in the world. He panicked and cried, “I can’t cook!” (Excerpt from: Mass Fatalities: Managing the Community Response. CRC Press 2011)
Reaction to Trauma by Age: