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Helping Children Deal With Trauma

Helping your child recover from trauma

Suggestions include:

  • Allow your child plenty of time to play and enjoy recreational activities such as sport, particularly favourite games and activities with ‘best’ and familiar friends.
  • Allow time for fun. Laughter, good times and shared pleasure can help all family members to feel better.
  • Don’t insist on three main meals if your child’s appetite is affected. If they don’t feel like eating at mealtimes, offer them regular snacks throughout the day instead.
  • Make sure your child gets enough rest and sleep.
  • Involve them in some sort of physical exercise – it will help your child to burn off stress chemicals and improve their sleep.
  • Limit stimulants like sugar, coloured foods and chocolate.
  • Help your child to physically relax – warm baths, massages, story times and lots of cuddles can help relieve muscle tension.
  • Intervene if an activity makes your child upset or anxious – for example, a television show that reminds the child of the trauma or promotes feelings of worry, alarm or fear. Don’t be afraid to switch off the television if the program content is not supporting the child’s recovery.

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