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It's our job as adults to keep kids safe.
CAPC Newsletter                                                           March 2016
When Trauma Happens
As parents, caregivers and community members we do our best to keep our children safe. But despite our best efforts, sometimes terrible things happen. What can we do for our children when they experience a traumatic event in their lives? The following can be used as a guide to help us through challenging life moments.

Helping Your Child Heal From Trauma

Trauma is an emotional response to an intense event that threatens or causes harm, either physical or emotional. Trauma can occur as a result of a natural disaster (such as an earthquake or flood), violence, or abuse. Seeing violence happen, even if you are not the victim, also may cause trauma. Trauma can have a lasting effect on children's brain development. If not addressed, it can lead to trouble with school, relationships, or drugs and alcohol.

What You Might Be Seeing 
Children's reactions to traumatic events vary with age, culture, and personality. Some children show the following signs of trauma: 
  • Startling easily and having difficulty calming down
  • Behaviors common to younger children (e.g., thumb sucking, bed wetting, fear of the dark, clinging to caregivers)
  • Tantrums, aggression, or fighting
  • Becoming quiet and withdrawn, wanting to be left alone
  • Wanting to talk about the traumatic event all the time, or denying that it happened
  • Changes in eating or sleeping (sleeping all the time, not sleeping, nightmares)
  • Frequent headaches or stomachaches
What You Can Do  
Try the following to help your child heal from trauma:
  • Help your child feel safe. Stay calm and keep a regular routine for meals, play time, and bedtime. Prepare children in advance for any changes or new experiences.
  • Encourage (don't force) children to talk about their feelings. Tell children it is normal to have many feelings after a trauma. Listen to their stories, take their reactions seriously, correct any misinformation about the traumatic event, and reassure them that what happened was not their fault.
  • Provide extra attention, comfort, and encouragement. Spending time together as a family may help children feel safe. Younger children may want extra hugs or cuddling. Follow their lead and be patient if they seem needy.
  • Teach children to relax. Encourage them to practice slow breathing, listen to calming music, or say positive things ("That was scary, but I'm safe now").
  • Be aware of your own response to trauma. Parents' history of trauma and feelings about their child's experience can influence how they cope. Seek support if you need it.

Remember that everyone heals differently from trauma. Respecting each child's own course of recovery is important.

Find help when needed. If your child's problems last more than a few weeks, or if they get worse rather than better, ask for help. Find a mental health professional who knows proven strategies to help children cope with trauma.
Thank you to the California Family Resource Association for this valuable article.

Remember: With patience and support,
families can heal and recover from trauma.
Upcoming Events

Next CAPC Meeting

Monday, March 21, 10:30am
975 Broadway, Jackson

Celebrate Our Children
Saturday, April 23, 11:00-am - 2:00pm
Argonaut High School, Jackson

About CAPC

Our Vision
All children know how they are valued; all families receive the support, education and tools necessary to give every child a safe, healthy, and nurturing home; and a community that actively supports the health, safety, and education of its children.

Our Mission 
CAPC is committed to preventing all forms of child abuse in Amador County through community partnerships, free trainings, education, and family-centered events that value children, strengthen families, and engage communities.