Car accidents can be scary experiences for children. When anyone is involved in a car accident, they can go through a lot of physical and mental trauma, but it’s especially traumatizing for a child who may not understand what’s going on. Trauma occurs with both parties: the person who was to blame for the accident and the person who was the victim. After the car accident has occurred and everybody has gone home, there is a level of PTSD that can take place. This is something that can cause nightmares, anxiety, and panic attacks. It’s common for children that have been in this type of situation to suffer some negative psychological effects. Luckily, there are ways that you can help your child deal with and heal from PTSD after a car accident.
Talk About It
There is no reason for your child to suffer alone through their symptoms of PTSD. There is a lot of help available for children who have gone through traumatic experiences. Make sure they know that they can speak to you about what they are feeling. You can also reach out to a counselor or therapist that can walk your child through ways of coping with these feelings. It is possible for them to feel like themselves again. They just need some extra help to learn the ways to get through this time in your life.
Physical activity is something that is beneficial for many kinds of trauma or mental health issues. Playing outside and finding other activities to stay busy will help your child feel better. If your child experienced injuries during the car accident, you should speak to a doctor or physical therapist about activities that can help them be active without hurting themselves further. You may need to alter their physical routine and limit rougher forms of play like contact sports until they are fully healed
Keep Up with Daily Activities and Routines
The worst thing that can happen to a person after an accident is for them to withdraw from everything they typically do each day. It’s not going to help their PTSD if they sleep all day, skip school and refuse to participate in daily activities. Recognize that if you were in the car or were driving when the accident happened, you may have difficulty with PTSD and related fears from the accident, too. In fact, statistics show that 15 percent of car accident survivors in treatment for PTSD suffer from a debilitating phobia of driving. Even so, it’s important for you to push through and set a good example for your child by continuing to go through a normal routine. While it might be tempting to let yourself or your child withdraw from daily activities, it’s not helpful for long-term healing progress. Both children and adults have to heal mentally, just like they have to heal physically.
Getting over the trauma of a motor vehicle accident can take some time. It’s important that you give your child the care needed in order to heal. Don’t be too hard on your child, and don’t force your child into things that they’re not ready for. PTSD is something that can be devastating for a child, but you can also learn effective ways to help them cope.
Here’s another article you might find helpful: How to Teach Your Kids to Be Safe Near the Street