The Harmful Effects of Childhood Trauma

Kids who are exposed to traumatic events throughout childhood are more likely to experience adverse effects later in life. But organizations like BY5 and our vast network of community partners can play a role in preventing and treating trauma.

What is trauma?

The CDC categorizes trauma into three types of adverse childhood experience (ACEs): abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction. The more ACEs present in a child’s life, the higher their ACEs score is.


What are the effects of trauma?

The higher a child’s ACEs score, the more likely that child will be to develop negative side effects later in life. Those effects include drug use, depression, alcoholism, missed work, and more. These outcomes can negatively affect not only the individual, but also the community around them.


How can we prevent trauma and support families experiencing it?

A few ways we can be a trauma-informed community are to provide accessible resources to children, families, and providers on trauma and its effects—like this blog post—and to become actively involved in strengthening efforts to help children and families exposed to trauma. As an early childhood initiative, we can specifically help prevent trauma by continuing to build a network of quality early childhood care and education centers, and by providing resources to parents and caregivers.