Accident trauma persists in young

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MORE THAN 20,000 children involved in road accidents each year suffer post-traumatic stress disorder that is largely unrecognised, researchers say.

The symptoms include nightmares, sleep disturbance, and separation anxiety. One-third of the 70,000-plus young people under 19 involved in road accidents each year are thought to be affected.

The findings - reported in the British Medical Journal - suggest that victims are just as much in need of psychological help and support as those involved in bigger incidents and disasters, but are not getting it.

Doctors from the Royal United Hospital in Bath, found the reaction was as severe in those who suffered minor injuries as in those seriously injured, suggesting that pre-existing psychological factors play a role. They say the idea that children quickly get over traumatic events is no longer sustainable.