Eau Claire (WQOW) – Health officials said in Wisconsin, more than half of adults have experienced at least one negative events during their childhood. This is called an adverse childhood experience, or A.C.E.
A.C.Es can include a child’s parents divorcing, physical or emotional abuse, mental illness, or drug and alcohol abuse in a child’s home. Mayo Clinic Health System said these events can have lasting effects on health and well-being. A child’s brain can become overwhelmed with stress hormones, changing the way they learn, respond to stress and make decisions.
Childhood trauma can also lead to chronic diseases like heart disease, violence, or even drug abuse. The more A.C.Es a child has, the higher the risk of these health impacts.
“That threshold of four A.C.Es is really kind of that tipping point where the risk factors increase significantly for people,” said Sara Carstens of Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. “Anything like depression, suicide, teen pregnancy. Things like cancer, diabetes, all escalate rapidly as those A.C.Es add up.”
Health officials said you can build a child’s resilience to A.C.Es by surrounding them with caring adults and communities. Parents can also help their child build social connections and higher self-esteem.
Next Monday, Mayo Clinic Health System will be launching a virtual program called, ‘Road to Resilience: Raising Healthy Kids’. The program offers free activities for parents and their children to combat A.C.Es.
For more information on the program, see here.