Counseling Children after a Car Accident
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. When parents are in a moving car with their family, the most important concern is the safety of their children. When a car accident happens, this can be a scary experience for everyone involved. As with any car accident, there is a risk of suffering traumatic injuries. When a child is hurt, there are additional factors to consider regarding these injuries. Examples of impacts specific to children include:
- Growth Plate Injuries: Growth plate injuries are always a significant concern when a child suffers a bone fracture, which can occur in a car accident. Growth plates play a vital role in the development of a child and dictate how long the limbs are going to be, with a direct impact on the child’s final height. If a bone fracture in the arm or the leg hits the growth plate, this can lead to severe limb shortening.
- Impact on Brain Development: The pediatric brain is still developing, and if a child suffers a traumatic brain injury in a car crash, this can halt or damage the development of the brain. Injuries to the developing brain can lead to poor school performance, poor learning, and adverse impacts on a child’s personality. Brain injuries in children require emergency medical care to minimize the lasting adverse effects.
While the physical injuries are a significant concern, the emotional impacts of the injuries should not be overlooked. Children can develop emotional, mental health, and psychiatric concerns that should be addressed as well.
Lasting Emotional Effects of Traumatic Events
A car crash can also leave invisible emotional scars on children. The traumatic accident can have implications on the psyche of a child. Some signs that a child could be struggling to process the event include:
Fear of Cars: If children start crying when they are asked to enter a car, or if they start to wet their pants, they may have lasting emotional scars from the car accident.
Nightmares: Many children will also have nightmares about the car accident. They could wake up in the middle of the night screaming, appearing to have night terrors, or could desire to sleep with their parents.
If children are showing these signs, it is important to take a few minutes to speak with them about the event.
Counseling Children: Speaking About the Event
When speaking with your children about the car accident, it is vital to meet them where they are at. You should consider the age of your child and the emotional development before deciding how to address the accident. For some kids, it can be an appropriate time to discuss risk-taking behavior and safety behind the wheel of a car. With other children, it might be a good time to talk about life and death. While this could be a scary experience, it is vital for children to learn about this at some point and a car crash could be a good time to do this. Let your child know that you are there to protect and comfort them while also discussing how car accidents can be prevented.
Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyers
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. Being in a car crash can be overwhelming. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, call me for free, friendly legal advice at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.
I’m a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
I encourage everyone to look through our verdicts and settlements.
Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash
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