This is a collaborative post
When a child suffers a serious injury of any kind – whether due to a car accident, a fall, a sporting mishap, or even an accident involving an animal – the consequences can be mental as well as physical.
While doctors, nurses and other health professionals can help your child’s physical wounds heal, you may be desperately wondering how to help them emotionally. It’s important to do what you can to reassure them and provide support, to lower the risk of your child developing traumatic stress.
With that aim in mind, we’ve listed some top tips on how to help your child deal with the aftermath of an accident and regain their confidence over time.
Resume Your Familiar Routines
The familiarity of daily routines can be a huge comfort, particularly in the wake of an unexpected and traumatic event such as a serious accident.
While your child may have had to spend some time in the hospital initially, once they come home it’s a good idea to help them return to their normal activities as soon as possible, as this can provide much-needed comfort.
From waking up at the usual time to resuming favourite family outings on the weekends and returning to your normal evening bedtime schedule, helping your child ‘get back into the swing of things will help them put the accident behind them and move on emotionally.
Help Them Get Out And About
If your child’s injuries were so severe that they will require the use of crutches or a wheelchair for some time to come, it’s still important to encourage them to venture out into the world – even if it’s just a trip to the local park or beach.
Of course, getting out and about when your child is in a wheelchair can be challenging from a logistical point of view. To make your transport situation simple and convenient, you may wish to consider renting or buying a used wheelchair-accessible vehicle (WAV).
Allied Mobility has a variety of used WAVs available, complete with a three-year warranty. Get in touch and see what’s in stock today. With your new wheelchair-friendly wheels, you will be able to take your child wherever they want to go.
Let Them Express Their Feelings
In the aftermath of an accident, it’s natural for your child to display a range of emotional responses. Some kids may return to their usual confident selves almost right away, while others may feel anger, fear, or sadness, and remain distressed for weeks or even months.
It’s important that you give your child the space and freedom to express their feelings, no matter how uncomfortable they may be for you to hear.
If your child wants to discuss what happened to them, let them do so. However, it’s recommended that you do your best to keep calm and talk about the accident in a matter-of-fact tone. Assure your child that it is over and that they are safe, and try to place a firm focus on more positive subjects, such as the things they have achieved since it happened, and what they have to look forward to in the near future.
Offer Support – But Don’t Be Overprotective
Our final point is that it’s vital that you provide your child with consistent, loving support – but try not to be too over-protective, however understandable that approach may be. Your child needs to feel safe but they also need to regain confidence in their own abilities and focus on moving forward with their lives and aiming for a positive, active future.