PTSD in children could show up years after traumatic event

PTSD in children could show up years after traumatic event
Updated: Nov. 10, 2016 at 5:32 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It's a sad reality. Children battle post traumatic stress disorder all the time.

An alarming study sheds light on post traumatic stress disorder and how parents are missing the warning signs in their children.

A British study found children who experience an accident, assault or natural disaster may be at risk for PTSD. Their symptoms can last a few days or up to several years after the trauma.

The problem is that parents are missing the symptoms.

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Researchers studied 71 families and found up to 30% of children 8 and older developed PTSD three years after being involved in an automobile accident.

Those who showed signs of anxiety and depression right away were much less likely to develop PTSD years later.

Doctors said parents in the study missed the signs because they're not always clear. They advise parents to watch for social withdrawal and lack of interest in things they once loved.

They also attribute the oversight to family dynamics, saying if the entire family was involved in an accident or disaster, parents may be coping themselves and less attentive to their children.

Children's age, intelligence and how severe their trauma was did not impact their odds of having PTSD years after the accident.

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