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Mental Health Check: Help Your Kids Cope with Post-Accident Trauma with These Basic Steps

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Car accidents are increasing day by day. Atlanta is one of the major hubs for car accidents, and because of a constant increase in population, car accidents have become a frequent commodity.

There is no age limit for who could become an accident victim, and things can get rough if you are with kids. Children tend to take accidents way more seriously than adults – some of them even come out of it with lifelong trauma.

If you have been in an accident with your little one, chances are that they are going through a rough patch that requires your utmost attention. Whether your little one has been throwing tantrums lately or you have witnessed a sudden change in their personality, it is time to take matters into your own hands and help them feel better. We have compiled a thorough list of how to help your child get over the trauma caused by a car accident.

How to Describe Trauma?

A traumatic event is an unexpected shock that may lead to distress, anxiety, and feelings of being overwhelmed. Car accidents that involve several injuries are highly traumatic and can last for a very long time. Still, minor accidents may lead to a temporary phobia for a short while.

Younger kids are more affected by children, and their reaction indicated a noticeable change in their personality. Overall, the intensity to which kids feel trauma depends on a few significant factors:

  • Age of the child
  • Exposure to any other kind of trauma before this
  • Family support and understanding towards their personality
  • Type of friends and school environment
  • Temperament and sensitivity
  • General personality
  • The intensity of the accident

How to Respond to a Child Who Has Been in a Traumatic Accident?

Following is the list of things that you must do to help your kid after a traumatic accident.

Check Their Physical Wellbeing

Before you start digging through the emotional turmoil, it is essential to get tabs on your child’s physical health. Car accidents may lead to different injuries, so you must visit your car accident doctor to get a whiplash treatment.

Check for other signs of internal and external injuries for immediate medical attention. Keep your child well-rested and make sure they are eating properly. Trauma can suppress accidents or maybe make your child crave for more. Give them what they are looking for or craving in terms of food to get them started.

Make Them Feel Safe

Children often feel insecure and really vulnerable after an accident. You need to give them a safe space away from the memory of the accident surrounded by things that they really enjoy doing.

Give them a supervised area to play games, read or enjoy their favorite show. Teenagers usually enjoy privacy, so it’s a good idea to give them some personal space with checkups after an interval.

Most teenagers like to talk to their friends about what’s going on in their life, so it’s a good idea to give them that space, but you must keep tabs on what they are going through.

Listen to Them

Children feel better when they are allowed to speak their hearts. You might notice that your son or daughter is closer to the parent who listens to them and lets them express what they are truly feeling.

Allow your child to express how they feel by spending time with them. Teenagers usually have a hard time opening up, but the security of understanding them along with plenty of hugs goes a really long way in eliminating that little gap between you and them.

Cope with Their Feelings

There are plenty of ways to show your child that you are on the same boat as them after the accident. Instead of telling them to put on a brave face, show them that this is the real world and you were also in the same shock as them.

However, ensure that it is completely safe now that there is nothing to worry about. Your kids must be encouraged to spend time with you and realize that it was just a one-time event.

Little kids take time to understand that life is full of bad things. However, you need to teach them adversities are only there to make you stronger and a better person.

Tell Them What They Need to Know

Children may go into trauma because they are unsure about what’s coming. Instead of hiding the truth or sugarcoating it, be honest about what has happened.

However, you must explain the event in any way without scaring them entirely. For instance, telling your kids that accidents are a small part of life and the only way to avoid them, in the long run, is to abide by traffic laws.

Make them understand the importance of traffic rules and also why it is crucial to visit accident doctors in Atlanta immediately after being in that unfortunate event. Additionally, you need to ask them if they have understood the preventative measures to avoid accidents in the future and how to react if they ever get in one.

Let them ask you questions that pop into the mind, as this is another great way to let your child open up. Acting irritated or annoyed at their questions is only going to give you a one-way ticket to their shell.

Handle Messages and Media Coverage

Sometimes bigger accidents can get some amount of media coverage and popularity over time. This may result in visitors and relatives asking your kids a lot of questions upon their visit.

Instead of letting your kids refuse to talk, allow them to genuinely express their feelings without pushing too much. Tell them why the accident hit the news and answer everything they need to know if they ask.

Obviously, your child cannot stay at home forever due to school. Their teacher can help them heal from the trauma. While a piece of accident news getting public is not a big deal but make sure that your kid stays away from it as much as possible.

Giving your kids an opportunity to open up about how they feel in public with their teacher or peers may be a relieving factor as they can express their opinion along with positive sentiments to help the case.

Teenagers and Social Media

Teens are more active on social media, and their need to be in an accident could actually be embarrassing for some or completely irrelevant. Talk to them about what they’re seeing and how they can cope up with the information.

Tell your teenage kids that they don’t owe anyone an explanation on how the accident occurred. You can tell them that looking at the news or social posts, again and again, can also be frustrating. Therefore, leaving your phone or limiting social media use can actually be a great way to get away from everyone’s comments.

Conclusion

Car accidents can happen to anyone. Whether you’re young or old, there is some kind of mental disturbance after the accident. Adults with a better sense of acceptance can recover from the trauma easily.

However, it may be really hard for your kids to cope up with the stress. This is the time you need to be there for them and eliminate any doubts they have in mind regarding future mishaps.

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