What is Childhood Trauma?

Childhood trauma is an event experienced by a child that causes fear and is typically violent, dangerous, or life-threatening. The 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health estimated that 46% of children in the U.S. experience trauma during their young lives.

Not all upsetting events are traumatic for a child. But many experiences can lead to trauma. 

A few examples include:

  • Physical, sexual, verbal or emotional abuse
  • Neglect
  • Ongoing stress from being bullied or living in an unsafe home
  • One-time events like a natural disaster or bad accident
  • A major illness 
  • Loss of a loved one

Learn how childhood trauma affects a child’s physical and mental health.