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Jason R. Schultz P.C

Understanding the Emotional Impact a Serious Injury Can Have on Children

When a child suffers a serious injury, his or her psyche, emotional equilibrium and mental development can be adversely affected. Serious injuries can lead to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and cause long-term complications for the child in many aspects of her life.

Types of Trauma that Can Cause Emotional Damage for Children

Trauma is any physical or psychological threat or damage to the child’s safety, survival or sense of self. Suffering a major injury in a traumatic event is one type of trauma that can have a lasting emotional impact on a child. There are lots of events that can cause severe emotional damages in children, including the following.

  • Auto accidents
  • Dog attacks
  • Abuse
  • Fires
  • Medical mistakes
  • Bicycle or pedestrian accidents
  • Accidents or assaults at school or daycare
  • Severe bullying
  • Witnessing an attack, such as a school shooting

Dealing with any serious injury can affect a child’s well-being. Scarring, disfigurement, long-term disabilities, etc. are difficult for anyone to handle; children are no different.

The Emotional Impact of an Injury on Children

Post-traumatic stress disorder a huge concern for children who’ve sustained a debilitating injury. Symptoms vary from child to child, but common signs include changes in eating or sleeping habits, hyper-alertness, agitation or withdrawal, avoidance of contact or communication, flashbacks or nightmares, refusal to talk about the injury or accident (denial), and general detachment. If you notice any of these changes in your child, seek help from a mental health care provider.

Serious injuries can affect a child’s life well into the future. According to a thorough Vermont Agency of Human Services Department of Health report, The Effects of Psychological Trauma on Children and Adolescents, child victims can experience or develop the following after a traumatic event.

  • Long-term, pervasive associated disorders
  • Language regression
  • Developmental delays or regression
  • Development of new fears (e.g., fear of the dark)
  • Aggressive behaviors and mood swings
  • Loss of hope and expectations of a positive future
  • Poor self­image, self­abandonment and self­destructiveness
  • Relationship issues
  • Behavioral problems
  • A negative impact on cognitive, social, emotional, physical, psychological and moral development
  • Eating disorders and substance abuse
  • Health problems (related to increased emotional stress on the immune system)
  • Decreased occupational attainment

Holding Someone Accountable for Your Child’s Harm

If your child’s injury was the result of another party’s negligence, you may be able to file a lawsuit to recover his damages. Damages include not only physical harm, but also emotional.

For help pursuing restitution, call the law office of Jason R. Schultz in Georgia for a free consultation. Contact us today at 404-474-0804.


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