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One in 4 Japan tsunami children needs psychiatric care

Published on Jan 27, 2014 12:19 PM

TOKYO (AFP) - One in four nursery school children caught up in Japan's 2011 tsunami disaster has psychiatric problems, a report said Monday, with experts warning the effects could last a lifetime if left untreated.

Researchers found 25.9 per cent of children aged between three and five suffers from symptoms including vertigo, nausea and headaches, with some exhibiting worrying behaviour such as violence or withdrawal.

The health ministry study said youngsters were scarred by losing friends, seeing their homes collapse, by separation from parents or by the sight of the huge wall of water that crashed ashore, the Mainichi Shimbun reported.

The team, led by professor Shigeo Kure of Tohoku University School of Medicine, said young children who do not receive necessary care could develop much worse problems in later life.

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