A car accident is scary at any age. It can have a devastating impact on your health. However, children can be especially impacted by a traumatic event like this. If your child has recently been in an accident, you’ll need to take some important steps to care for them in the aftermath. Here are a few ways to help your child cope after an accident.
1. Bring Them to the Doctor
Your child needs to receive medical treatment after a car accident. Even if they don’t have any apparent injuries at first, they still need to be checked. That way, the doctors can find any less visible issues and address them before they become a problem. If your child was injured in the accident, this also allows you to get them on the road to recovery as soon as possible. Physical therapy might be something they’ll need in the future. Physical therapy can lower medical costs by 72%, which can be a bonus as your child goes through treatment. Physical injuries need to be managed immediately after the accident, so make medical care a priority.
2. Provide Emotional Support
Your child needs you to be there for them. Even if you both went through the accident, your child is more vulnerable than you are. So do your best to keep yourself healthy so that you can take care of them. Don’t dump your own trauma on them. Instead, find effective ways to process it so that you can provide the emotional support your child needs. Make sure that you’re there for them, both in the immediate aftermath and in the months following the accident.
3. Follow Their Lead
Nobody handles trauma in the exact same way, so it is important that you follow your child’s lead during their recovery. Some children might want to talk about every little detail of the accident. They might have questions about what will happen to the car if it was totaled. Only about 80% of a car can be recycled. The other 20% of it is known as auto shredder residue and cannot be salvaged. Your child might be interested in details like that. Others might not want to talk about what happened right away. If you avoid pushing the issue and just let them know that you’re ready to talk when they are, it can make things easier for your child as they process what happened.
4. Get Back on Routine
Routines are very important to children. They help them feel secure like they know exactly what is going to happen next. Without a routine, your child might feel adrift. This is why it is so important to get back into your routine as soon as possible. You will need to take their health into consideration as you do so, but providing a sense of normalcy will make it easier for your child to rest and recover. Keep them in familiar environments and try to get back onto your daily schedule as much as possible. Being on a routine will help your child feel safe again.
5. Seek Help
Sometimes, your child’s recovery won’t go as smoothly as you hoped. If their mental health is still impacted by the accident a little while later, you might need to consider getting them some professional help. There are an average of six million car accidents in the United States every year. Many of these will involve children. This means that child therapists are familiar with the trauma they can cause. Find your child a good therapist who can help them process their emotions in a safe, healthy way.
When your child is in an accident, they’re going to need your help in the aftermath. Use these tips to help you figure out the best way to take care of your child.