Environmental disasters are unfortunately somewhat frequent occurrences and there are serious concerns about the health related problems they bring. Environmental disasters affect people of all ages but how exactly do they affect children?
There have been studies that have clearly shown the adverse health effects environmental disasters have on children but not everything is known about the extent of damage. Environmental disasters can greatly inhibit physical growth, increase child morbidity etc. They also increase the likelihood of fevers, diarrhoea and different types of respiratory illnesses. One particular study carried out in Bangladesh showed just how these events can impact negatively on children’s health. Some five months after an epidemiological study was carried out, the survivors of the group that survived the flood disaster that followed were revaluated. Aggressive behaviour increased from zero to almost 10% and 45% of the surviving study group who already had bladder control problems developed enuresis (bed wetting). This is just one small study of a single occurrence. A lot of environmental disaster stories and how they affect children remain untold.
A lot of the changes in the children’s health are psychological. Aggressive behaviour in the case above is usually caused by anger; anger at loss and present circumstances. Most of these children do not know how to express themselves, so being mad at the world becomes the next best thing. The enuresis (for example) was also (largely) caused by psychological factors. Children do not know how to express anger at a situation, certain types of fears, etc. Thus, it translates into health issues, violence and other cloaking mediums. The best approach to this type of situation is Therapy and not just any kind of therapy.
Play Therapy Can Help Parents with Children Who Struggle
Play therapy helps children struggling to deal with trauma to heal. It is not just about playing cards, or having an adult do some colouring with the child. It is also not about distracting the child to gain access to the child’s true feelings. Children use play to channel thinking, communication, interaction and so much more. Adults know how to communicate; they have a wide range of vocabulary to use. Adults are also more action oriented than children whose brains are not yet fully developed enough to be able to handle complex issues.
Play therapists are very well trained to aid children with playing that can help them express their emotions. Play therapy is said to be one of the best ways to find out what a child is feeling and usually expresses with silence, glares and sometimes rude behaviour. When the emotions have been unearthed, recovery can begin.
Play Therapy has helped a lot of children cope with trauma and realise they are not alone.