New Test Detects PTSD Risk in Children

Children who may be at risk for suffering post traumatic stress disorder can now be tested to see if they will be likely to experience this condition. According to one expert, the chief psychiatrist of the Children’s Health Council, the risk of PTSD in children was frequently ignored because people assumed that young children were resilient. However, the fact is that it is important to treat children with these issues and prevent the development of the condition if at all possible.

Pediatric Study

According to a study that appears in the October issue of Pediatrics, the Pediatric Emotional Distress Scale can be used to determine how likely a preschool age child is to develop PTSD. The tool uses information provided by parents to identify long-term risk, and with the establishment of an optimal scoring method, an 85 percent success rate was achieved. Additionally, the tool has a 63 percent success rate at determining whether the onset of PTSD will be full or partial for the child.

The author of the study states that before the development of PEDS, there was no evidence-based way to determine the long-term risk for a preschool age child to develop PTSD after an accident. When children experience this condition, they may have recurring nightmares, temper tantrums, anxiety and problems concentrating.

In spite of long being ignored by the medical community, PTSD is now finally being recognized as the medical condition that it is. Those who suffer PTSD experience physical and psychological symptoms, both of which require treatment. If a veteran has been denied a claim by the VA, a lawyer could help them understand their rights and appeal the claim.

Source: US News and World Report, “New Test Spots Risk for PTSD in Injured Kids”, Alan Mozes, October 04, 2013.