Creating a free account will enable you to subscribe to our daily and weekly email newsletters, as well as customize your reading experience to show only the categories most relevant to you.
Signing up only take a few minutes, so why not give it a try and see what you've been missing out on.
Accidents also traumatize small children. Around one in ten children still suffers from a post-traumatic stress disorder a year after a road accident or burn injury, reliving aspects of the traumatic experience in the form of flashbacks or nightmares. In doing so, young children keep replaying the stressful memories while avoiding anything that might remind them of the accident in any way. As a result of this constant alertness to threatening memories, the children can develop sleeping disorders, concentration problems or aggressive behavior.
Assessing the risk of illness accurately
Researchers from the University of Zurich and the University Children's Hospital Zurich have now devised and evaluated a systematic questionnaire, which can be used to identify pre-school children with an increased risk of long-term post-traumatic disorders within a few days of an accident. For the first time, it is now possible for first responders such as pediatricians, nursing staff or emergency psychologists to assess small children accurately with regard to their risk of illness. "Children with an increased risk can thus be identified early and referred to an emergency psychologist for treatment," explains Professor Markus Landolt. This prevents an acute stress response from developing into chronic mental illness that causes the child to suffer and spells a lengthy and expensive course of treatment.
For the study, Professor Landolt's doctoral student Didier Kramer interviewed a total of 134 parents of two to six-year-old children seven days after a road accident or burn injury. The screening instrument used comprised 21 questions on changes in the child's behavior after the accident and recorded a high degree of accuracy: 85 percent of the children examined who suffered from a post-traumatic stress disorder after six months had already been identified correctly a week after the accident with the aid of the questionnaire.
Markus Landolt is now planning an app for Smartphones in collaboration with IT scientists: "This app will enable the screening to be conducted even more easily and quickly, and above all implemented broadly."
Didier N. Kramer, Matthias B. Hertli, & Markus A. Landolt. Evaluation of an Early Risk Screener for PTSD in Preschool Children After Accidental Injury. Pediatrics. September 23, 2013. doi:10.1542/peds.2013-0713
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
Visit our Pediatrics / Children's Health category page for the latest news on this subject.
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
University of Zurich. "Early identification of trauma risk in small children after an accident." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 25 Sep. 2013. Web.
8 Dec. 2013. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/266500>
University of Zurich. (2013, September 25). "Early identification of trauma risk in small children after an accident." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
If you write about specific medications, operations, or procedures please do not name healthcare professionals by name.
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact the our editorial team, please use our feedback form. Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:
Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.
This page was printed from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/266500.php
Visit www.medicalnewstoday.com for medical news and health news headlines posted throughout the day, every day.
© 2004-2013 All rights reserved. MNT (logo) is the registered trade mark of MediLexicon International Limited.