Halodoc, Jakarta – Monday, November 21 2022, an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.6 (M) rocked Cianjur Regency, West Java. The earthquake occurred around 13.21 WIB. Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) Cianjur Regency clarified the data report which stated that the death toll from the Cianjur earthquake reached 162 people on Monday (21/11) night. Of these, the majority of victims were children.
Natural disasters such as earthquakes are known to be at risk of causing psychological impacts, namely trauma. This condition can cause a number of symptoms when a person is triggered. For example, such as cold sweat, increased heart rate, difficulty concentrating, and disruption of normal sleep patterns.
These things are not only experienced by adults, because children can experience them too. When this happens to children, what steps can be taken to deal with trauma in children?
Efforts to Overcome Trauma in Children
Natural disasters not only increase sorrow and grief, but also deep trauma. The trauma from the earthquake that occurred yesterday can strike anyone, from adults to children. This is what makes the volunteers not only focusing on clothing, food, boards, and physical health. Trauma to children also needs attention to avoid psychological disorders or post-earthquake stress. The following are steps to overcome post-earthquake trauma in children:
1. Reassure the child
Reassuring children that they will always be fine. This will help them feel more at ease. What is needed is open communication. Don’t scold them when they cry, as this will make post-traumatic recovery more difficult.
2. Close media access
The next way to deal with earthquake trauma in children can be done by closing all media access, fine on line to television. The reason is, the more often they watch the aftermath of the earthquake, the more chaotic their minds and psychological conditions will be.
3. Let the child express his feelings
Let children express feelings in any way. They will talk about their feelings and fears to divert their anxiety.
4. Don’t force the child to talk
When they want to tell a story, be a container to accommodate. However, when they just want to be quiet, don’t force them to talk. Constantly pressing him to talk will only make the child’s stress level increase. Instead of healing trauma in children, they may experience psychological disorders, such as depression.
5. Invite children to do activities together
This can be done when the children look calm and can be invited to communicate. Next, invite them to do activities, such as playing football, reading story books, or drawing. These activities will divert his mind on the earthquake that just hit him.
Usually, volunteers those who come to help will prepare a post to spend time with the children, and be the right choice to undergo trauma healing.
6. Give positive affirmations to children
The next thing parents can do is to give positive affirmations to their children. When doing so, use kind and constructive words. Then, give praise because the child is strong and wants to try hard to deal with the trauma.
Tell children that their parents are proud of them. Be patient when they make mistakes. Also, show love, using hugs, smiles, words, and caring actions to show love.
7. Establish a family routine
Family routines can also help children feel safe and secure. Because of this, parents can establish the right routine regarding mealtimes, exercise, and appropriate nightly sleep times. This is because a controlled routine can help keep a child’s mind and body healthy when they are calm.
Parents can also encourage children to visit their friends. When your child returns to school, tell the child’s caregiver or teacher what happened. This aims to help them support and care for children.
Trauma to children can indeed be overcome immediately. However, for some children, the trauma caused by the earthquake will cause more reactions from them. As a result, children may have trouble sleeping, experience a decrease in appetite, be afraid to sleep alone, have bad dreams, cry constantly, and even withdraw from social interactions. When a child has experienced earthquake trauma with these symptoms, the child must continue to be monitored.
If the symptoms they experience are getting worse, immediately check the child’s condition to a psychologist. Well, through the application Halodoc, mothers can make a hospital appointment to check the child’s psychological condition with the psychologist of choice. Of course, without the need to queue or wait long. So what are you waiting for? come on, downloads Halodoc right now!
NCBI. Retrieved 2022. Earthquakes and Children: The Role of Psychologists with Families and Communities.
University of Michigan. Retrieved 2022. Helping Children Cope with Disasters and Traumatic Events.
NCTSN. Accessed 2022. Parent Guidelines for Helping Children after an Earthquake.
KidsHealth. Retrieved 2022. Helping Your Child Heal After Trauma.
Raising Children.net. Retrieved 2022. Traumatic events: supporting children and teenagers afterwards.
Compass. Accessed in 2022. UPDATE Cianjur Earthquake Victims: 162 People Died, Majority of Children.
Tempo. Retrieved in 2022. Cianjur Earthquake Victims Increase to 162 Victims.