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How Trauma Impacts Children After an Injury

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Children can be traumatized after an auto accident in Texas.


The Impact Trauma Can Have on Your Child After an Injury in Texas

Previously, it was widely believed that trauma was limited to soldiers who had experienced extreme events outside normal human experiences. However, modern psychological literature understands that trauma can happen to anyone, including children. In fact, children are especially vulnerable to trauma because of their inability to recognize or anticipate danger.

Thousands of children in Texas are seriously injured in daycares, auto accidents, in schools, while playing sports, or by aggressive dogs daily. While priority is correctly placed on tending to a child’s physical injuries after an accident, it is important to recognize that children can be mentally damaged by these events long after they’ve physically healed.

Anxiety and Depression

Children who experience traumatic events often experience extreme anxiety or depression. When the human mind is exposed to the threat of death or serious injury, it triggers the base survival instincts in the brain. This sends constant signals of imminent death or extreme danger to the child, causing their bodies to be in a constant state of readiness to respond.

5 years old and younger

Symptoms of trauma in very small children can include behaviors like:

  • Repeatedly talking about the event or playacting the event,
  • Increased fear of the dark or monsters,
  • Separation anxiety,
  • Reverting to infant behavior (i.e., thumbsucking, bedwetting, “baby talk”)
  • Sensitivity to loud places, thunder, or wind.

6 years old to 11 years old

Slightly older children can respond to trauma by:

  • Refusal to discuss the event,
  • Changes in appetite and sleep,
  • Nightmares,
  • Fear of being hurt again,
  • Experiencing frequent headaches, stomaches, and lethargy,
  • Pretending the event never happened.

12 years old to 17 years old

Older children often respond to traumatic experiences in the following ways:

  • Academic struggles,
  • Distancing behaviors,
  • Mood swings,
  • Changes in appetite,
  • Avoidance of feelings,
  • Panic or extreme anxiety,
  • Depression

For resources on how to help your child cope with trauma after an injury or for help connecting with a professional child therapist, visit the Child Mind Institute website.

Physical Effects of Trauma

Children who are suffering mentally after an injury can be seriously affected physically. Children who have suffered trauma are more likely to develop diseases like:

  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Problems
  • Stroke

These conditions can threaten your child’s life long after the traumatic event. Seek professional guidance for your child if they are exhibiting symptoms of trauma after an accident in Texas — it could save their life.

Suing for Emotional Distress for Your Child

Compensation for your child’s trauma after an accident will not erase the effects, but it can help you get them the help that they need. When filing a personal injury claim for your child after an accident, emotional distress can be claimed if the following is proven:

  1. The defendant’s actions breached their duty of care (were reckless),
  2. Those actions resulted in emotional distress for your child,
  3. The distress was severe enough to inhibit your child’s life or cause you to seek medical attention for them.

Important note: emotional distress can not be claimed alone. Your child must have suffered a physical injury to file a claim.

Child Injury Attorneys Serving Texas

If your child was injured at daycare, school, while playing sports, in an auto accident, as a pedestrian, or in a dog attack in Texas, we can help. Contact the experienced child injury attorneys at the Carabin Shaw law firm at 800-862-1260 today. We’ve been putting our clients first for 30 years because we care. We look forward to serving you.

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