Skip to Content

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder In Children


Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that may occur after your child has experienced a traumatic situation or event. This event may have caused him to feel intense fear, pain, or sorrow. He may think he or someone close to him is going to get hurt or die. He may also continue to feel helpless after the event. These feelings affect his daily activities and relationships.


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that your child may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your child's medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done to your child. Make sure all of your questions are answered.


  • Antianxiety: These medicines help your child feel less nervous.
  • Antidepressants: These medicines decrease or stop the symptoms of depression and other behavior problems.
  • Sedatives: These medicines help your child stay calm and relaxed. They may also help him sleep better at night.


  • Blood tests: Your child may need blood tests to give caregivers information about how his body is working. The blood may be taken from your child's arm, hand, finger, foot, heel, or IV.
  • Urine tests: A sample of your child's urine may be collected and sent to a lab to check the level of cortisol. This is a hormone that is released in response to stress.


  • Cognitive behavior therapy: This therapy helps your child learn to face his feared object or situation slowly and carefully. This may be done alone with the therapist or with family members. Your child will also learn to control his mental and physical reactions of fear.
    • Cognitive restructuring: Healthcare providers help your child learn which thoughts cause anxiety. His therapist helps him see the event differently so he can change his thoughts and decrease his anxiety.
    • Exposure or desensitization: Exposure or desensitization therapy helps your child face a feared object, person, or situation. Fantasy or real-life situations are used with this therapy. The goal of desensitization therapy is to help decrease your child's fear or anxiety.
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing: This is also called EMDR and is a type of exposure therapy. Healthcare providers help your child's eyes move back and forth while he imagines the trauma.
  • Relaxation therapy: Relaxation therapy teaches your child how to calm his body and mind. The goal is to have your child feel less physical stress and have less emotional stress. Healthcare providers will teach your child ways to relax, such as deep breathing, meditation, relaxing muscles, music, or biofeedback.


PTSD can get worse if your child is not treated. Your child's illness could make it hard for him to do well in school or to get along with others. It may also affect the way your child eats and sleeps, which may cause him to feel sick. If your child is not treated, he may hurt himself or others.


You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's caregivers to decide what care you want for your child.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder In Children (Inpatient Care)

Associated drugs

Micromedex® Care Notes