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Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition. It can result from seeing or being in a dangerous or traumatic event. The event may be a natural disaster, a serious car crash, or a physical assault. In children, PTSD may also result from abuse, violence in the home, a dog bite, and more. The trauma may be a one-time event or repeated.
Children with PTSD react in different ways. Some may have nightmares or flashbacks. They may feel afraid and have trouble sleeping. Some also have trouble remembering the event. Others try to avoid thinking about it.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Where to get help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
If your child talks about suicide, self-harm, a mental health crisis, a substance use crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress, get help right away.
Consider saving these numbers in your phone.
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter P562 in the search box to learn more about "Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Children: Care Instructions".
Current as of: November 7, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Andrew Littlefield PhD - Psychology, Behavioral Health & Emmett Francoeur MD, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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