Trauma occurs when a child experiences an intense event that threatens or causes harm to his or her emotional and physical well-being. Some events are more likely to be traumatic than others and people can have very different responses to the same event. When a child experiences trauma, it can affect their daily lives and their ability to get along with others. Trauma is different than everyday stress. If your child gets nervous before a test at school or going to a new place, you can help them through this type of stress. This is not considered a traumatic event. Trauma is an extreme event that threatens the psychological and physical well-being of the child.
Examples of “potentially traumatic events”

  • Physical abuse and maltreatment
  • Sexual abuse
  • Family, school, or community violence
  • Death of a loved one, (especially a parent or caregiver)
  • Domestic violence
  • Community violence and criminal victimization
  • Medical trauma and chronic illness
  • Separation from a caregiver
  • Traumatic loss
  • Accidents/fires
  • Natural Disasters
  • War/terrorism