Medics and pediatricians in the UK recently began to clue into the behavior of children, noticing that more and more young children are exhibiting symptoms of PTSD.
Family doctors are connecting this to the fact that children have a lot more access to very graphic news coverage of wars and explosions, and that may subconsciously be affecting them.
Especially in Europe, as there has been an increase of terrorist attacks, and media coverage of those attacks, they’ve found an increasing number of children showing signs of PTSD.
The Daily Mail reports:
The NHS officials recommended a period of ‘watchful waiting’ of up to four weeks before offering an intervention ‘to allow time for spontaneous recovery’.
If symptoms are severe and continue for more than a month, a referral to a specialist service may be required, the letter says.
About a fifth of those caught up in traumatic events like the attack at the Ariana Grande concert are expected by the NHS to seek professional psychological help, based on patterns seen after previous atrocities.
Dr Arvind Madan, deputy medical director for NHS England, outlined the symptoms to watch out for in the aftermath of a traumatic event, six weeks on from the Manchester bombings.
Some of these include mood changes, becoming easily startled or agitated and feeling emotionally numb.
Children and young people may start to blame themselves or show lowered self-esteem, the letter says.
It reads: ‘Immediately after a traumatic event, most people affected – including children and young people – will benefit from the general support that comes from families, friends and within local communities.
‘Evidence from similar events tells us people do not benefit from formal psychological therapy during this period, including counselling.’
The letter also warns how people with pre-existing mental illness may be destabilised by traumatic events such as terror attacks that have hit London.
And it thanked practitioners involved in the London and Manchester attacks for their ‘responsiveness and hard work’.
Doctors add that it is important to watch children, especially if they watch the news with their parents or on their own.
Parents should look for signs in children being distraught, suddenly going into panic over something minute, anxiety, etc.
According to studied, limiting the amount of time children spend on devices is the best way to prevent this.