Friday, May 27, 2022
The Importance of Detecting Children and Families Trauma Early
By Lakesha L. Mckenzie
Published May 5, 2016

Children and family trauma should not to be taken lightly; no one should ever have to experience trauma alone. It is important to improve our services and update ourselves on trauma, to help each and families face their fears and are able to function in everyday society without feeling threatened.

There are over 42 million people in America that have overcome sexual abuse. Some of these sexual abuses are happening in their home or within their community. Of those sexually abused 90% of adult and children are abused by someone they love and trust. 25% of victims witness or experience trauma and become depress then, later on, suffer from a mental illness, because they had no support and no one to talk to about their traumatic experiences.

Experiencing trauma is not just sexual, it is child abuse and neglect, severe accidental injury, experiencing disasters and terrorism, witnessing gun violence in neighborhoods, schools, and homes, and suffering from life threatening illnesses. Addressing the issue with children who experience trauma between the age of 0-5 and the controversy of them being able to remember has caught my attention.


A child five years or younger experiencing trauma will not be able to memorize and in fact, children fewer than five years old can be traumatized and can experience trauma at that young of age to where it will affect them later. Brain researchers fee that during the first year of a child’s life develops the pattern for the brain and nervous system, which direct the rest of a child life (Schore, 2010). Many children are being raised by mentally ill parents or in violent homes, where they become a victim intentionally or unintentionally. These kids are traumatized from infancy and during their early childhood development. The most significant development a child learns to trust and develop the need to be nurtured. Implementing services and programs for infants, that foster early childhood development will advance our ability to treat children impacted by early trauma and assist us in early identification of the needs of these children.

Healthy childhood development is impaired by exposure to trauma and maltreatment. Infant and early childhood trauma should be carefully assessed early to ensure healthy development.

The first five years of a child life is critical to ensure healthy development. Children need to be protected from maltreatment and trauma in order to form healthy attachments with their caregiver. Child Protective Services (CPS) report that there are 3 million referrals a year of children stemming from injury and death from maltreatment. Passing H.R. 2632 Children Recovery from Trauma Act requires CPS to update their services and training to service this innocent Population. With the increase of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in this range (0-5 years of age), the passing of H.R. 2632 is overdue.

In the critical period of 0-5 years of age, we stop child maltreatment and prevent their exposure to trauma. Early awareness and treatment is critical. The National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative (NCTSI) will treat children and their family members who have mental, behavioral, biological disorder from witnessing or experiencing trauma in their life (Pynoos, Fairbank, Amaya-Jackson, Gerrity, Mount, and Maze 2008).

Reporting child trauma only takes a second. Reporting child maltreatment is critical to preventing an infant very young child from being injury. This is the population that is not attending school, so reliance on family, neighbors, and friends and critical to reporting. As a community that cares, it is your duty to protect a child from harm, and ensuring them a safe environment to be kids.

Now is the time to stand up and be counted. Call your Congresswomen at (323) 757-8900 or her email at and tell your representative that this bill is critical to all of the children in our country.

Categories: Op-Ed | Opinion

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