Pediatric Emotional Distress Following Car Accidents
Pediatric Emotional Distress Following Car Accidents – No parents ever expect to bury their child. However, many children sustain serious injuries or are even killed in car accidents. While most people assume they are going to make it safely to their destination when they get in a car, it is also important to be prepared for the worst. A recent study was completed and published in the New York Times regarding children and car accidents, which showed:
- For children who are 15 years of age or younger, the most common cause of death is an unintentional injury.
- The most common reason children sustain unintentional injuries was due to an auto accident.
- During the 5-year study period, about 11 children were killed in car accidents every week.
- This is close to 3,000 people over the course of the study.
- Nearly half of the children killed were not wearing seatbelts.
- More than 10 percent of these accidents involved alcohol.
These numbers are striking and should emphasize the importance of following safety guidelines regarding children and motor vehicles. Furthermore, the children who survive these accidents deserve attention and care. The emotional distress that they suffer is genuine.
Emotional Trauma and Children
When children are involved in a traumatic event, such as a car accident, it is important for parents to know that they might have trouble communicating what they are feeling because of their developmental stage. Therefore, parents and caregivers need to be aware of some of the signs of emotional distress that they should look for. According to a recent study:
- Changes in their behavior, which could include becoming irritable or moody along with avoiding activities that they used to enjoy.
- Changes in their sleep pattern, including sleeping all of the time or not sleeping at all.
- Physical symptoms of an illness, such as headaches and stomach aches, which might be a sign of stress.
- Sudden changes in their school performance or circles of friends at school.
- An increase in self-doubt, negative statements, and self-deprecation.
The Recovery Process
When a child is feeling emotional distress, it is important for parents to know that children recover in their own way. Parents should talk with their child about what they are feeling and remind them that they are there to help. Some children may not want to talk, which is fine. Give children space to recover. Knowing that their parents are there is often enough. On the other hand, if this behavior continues for an extended period of time, it is also a good idea to schedule a meeting with a mental health professional, such as a grief counselor.
Watch YouTube Video: After the Injury – What are Traumatic Stress Reactions? This video provides guidance for parents to help their injured child fully recover physically and mentally.
Sacramento Car Accident Lawyers
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer. Emotional trauma in children should not be overlooked. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a car accident, call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.
I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Feel free to read through our verdicts or settlements here.
Pediatric Emotional Distress Following Car Accidents: AutoAccident.com
Image Attribution: The photo at the start of this article is seen in its original form on Unsplash. The image has been reproduced here with permission/ Pediatric Emotional Distress Following Car Accidents.
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