Extreme stress and traumatic experiences that occur when children are 0-3 can have long term emotional, physical and educational effects. Because infants’ and young children’s may not be able to verbalize their reactions to threatening or dangerous events, many people assume that young age protects children from the impact of traumatic experiences.
Research has established that young children may be affected by events that threaten their safety or the safety of their parents/caregivers. These traumas can be the result of intentional violence, natural disaster, accidents, or war. Young children also may experience traumatic stress in response to neglect, substance abuse and medical procedures or the loss of a parent/caregiver.
Truama in early childhood can also impact a child’s physical health as an adult.