Tips to help children deal with trauma following Hurricane Harvey

When a traumatic event like Hurricane Harvey impacts your family, the immediate need is to make sure everyone is safe and healthy. But it is equally important, in the days and weeks after, to make sure to care for the mental wellbeing of victims, including children.

Every child’s experience during a traumatic event is different, said Dr. Julie B. Kaplow, associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics, psychology section, at Baylor College of Medicine.

“Most kids do express some levels of stress, anxiety and concerns, especially around separation from their caregivers, so that’s pretty normal,” Kaplow said. “Starting around six weeks after the event is when we start looking for the signs and symptoms that they made be having a harder time.”

Kaplow offers some advice to parents and caregivers about signs of stress to look for in children and ways to help them cope.

 Learn more about how to cope with the stress of an event like Hurricane Harvey from Dr. Asim Shah, professor and executive vice chair for community psychiatry in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor.

By Andy Phifer

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