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Identify children who need the most support. Help them obtain it. Monitor their healing.

Step 1: Identify children who…

  • Refuse to go places that remind them of the event
  • Seem numb emotionally
  • Show little reaction to the event
  • Behave dangerously

These children may need extra help.

Step 2: In general, adults should…

  • Attend to children
  • Listen to them
  • Understanding to their feelings, and avoid making judgments/being negative
  • Help them cope with the reality of their experiences

Step 3: Reduce effects of other sources of stress, including…

  • Frequent moving or changes in place of residence
  • Long periods away from family and friends
  • Pressures at school
  • Transportation problems
  • Fighting within the family
  • Being hungry/not having other fundamental needs met

Step 4: Monitor healing…

  • Always remember that healing from traumatic experiences can take very different amounts of time, depending on the person and the nature of the ordeal.
  • Do not ignore severe reactions to trauma, and know when to reach out for additional help, such as other family members or a healthcare professional.
  • Be on the lookout for sudden changes in behavior, speech, language use, or heightened emotional states.

Step 5: Remind children that….

  • They are loved
  • They are safe
  • They are supported

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