Keep an eye on symptoms

2016-10-12 06:00
WORLD TRAUMA DAY is on 17 October .

WORLD TRAUMA DAY is on 17 October .

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MEDICLINIC BLOEMFONTEIN will mark this year’s World Trauma Day on 17 October by creating public awareness.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), trauma is a major cause of death and disability across the world.

On this day, there will be displays by trauma counsellors and ER24 from 09:00 to 14:00 on the ground floor at Mediclinic Bloemfontein.

Information will be given to members of the public.

Trauma counsellors and ER24 personnel will be available for any information and enquiries about trauma.

The public is invited to visit the displays.

Mediclinic and ER24 personnel will also receive recognition for excellent service rendered.

The traumatised child

After being exposed to trauma like violence, death, accidents or natural disasters, children will most likely show signs of stress.

These reactions are normal and usually do not last long.

Whether the child was directly involved, or was involved through a parent’s involvement or as a second-hand witness through the media, friends or family, the possibility exists that the following symptoms may develop after a traumatic incident:

  • Suppressing of emotions.
  • Withdrawal and isolation.
  • Physical complaints: headaches and stomach pain.
  • Changes in eating and sleeping patterns.
  • Bed-wetting and thumb-sucking.
  • Unusual fear of the dark, separation or fear of being alone.

If symptoms do not decline in severity over a period of several weeks or if the child was exposed to real or potential violence, loss or serious injury, serious consideration must be given to consulting a child therapist.

The reaction of parents or other adults after a trauma-tic incident may help children to heal sooner and completely.

Some incidents make children more vulnerable when they are confronted with a traumatic incident.

If a child has suffered a recent loss, like parents divorcing or the death of a loved one or moving to a new area, he or she may feel particularly overwhelmed by another traumatic incident.

A traumatic incident may reactivate the emotions associated with previous trauma and it can be overwhelming for the child.

Many parents and children find that it is of great value to speak to a therapist who has specialised training in trauma work and thus be helped to understand the traumatic incident and to deal with the accompanying emotions.

  • Dr Sandra Ferreira, University of the Free State.

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