By NYU Langone Health, Patient Care

Across the nation, everyone is being exposed to and reacting to the confusing, stressful, and sometimes frightening situation of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in different ways. But are we, and our children, being traumatized by the pandemic?

Childhood trauma often involves a negative reaction, called traumatic stress, following an overwhelming, upsetting, or frightening experience—called a traumatic event—that challenges a child’s ability to cope. “Traumatic events are typically situations that are out of our control, beyond our usual experience, and cause us to feel as though our lives or the lives of others may be in danger,” says Adam D. Brown, PsyD, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU Langone and member of its Child Study Center.

Together with the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’s WonderLab, Dr. Brown answers questions parents may have about childhood trauma during COVID-19.

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