Children can have PTSD too. They may have symptoms described above or other symptoms depending on how old they are. As children get older, their symptoms are more like those of adults. Here are some examples of PTSD symptoms in children:

  • Children age birth to 5 may get upset if their parents are not close by, have trouble sleeping, or suddenly have trouble with toilet training or going to the bathroom.
  • Children age 6 to 11 may act out the trauma through play, drawings or stories. Some have nightmares or become more irritable or aggressive. They may also want to avoid school or have trouble with schoolwork or friends.
  • Children age 12 to 18 have symptoms more similar to adults: depression, anxiety, withdrawal or reckless behavior like substance abuse or running away.

From the National Center for PTSD, US Department of Veterans Affairs. http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/pages/what-is-ptsd.asp