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posttraumatic stress disorder
Followup studies have shown that a significant number of children injured in traffic accidents and other stressful events develop clear symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder. While most emotional reactions after an injury are normal and transitory, prolonged symptoms that hinder return to normal activity should raise the possibility of PTSD.
These symptoms fall into four major categories:
Children most at risk for PTSD are younger, more likely to be female, are more likely to have had previous emotional or behavioral problems, and may have had previous trauma. The severity of the injury sustained is not necessarily a good predictor of which child will develop PTSD. He is more likely to develop the disorder if he hears screams, sees the injury of family members, or if he thinks he is going to die (regardless of the injury he sustained).
A child whom you suspect is suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder can be helped best by