Can a Car Accident Result in PTSD For Children?
A car accident is a devastating event, more so when there are injuries and fatalities involved. Anyone who has ever been involved in a car accident will experience confusion and shock. This is especially true for children.
Young children have sensitive senses, and all the noises and flashing lights of a car accident can immensely affect them. Apart from physical injuries, adults should also take note of their children’s mental condition after a car accident.
According to an article from the Stanford Children’s Health, around 4% of children who are under the age of 18 suffered from some form of trauma in their life, which leads to a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The same article credits the National Institute of Mental Health as saying that among those children and adolescents who have experienced trauma, 7% of girls and 2% of boys are diagnosed with PTSD.
What is PTSD?
PTSD is considered as a debilitating condition which stems from an event that was terrifying (physically or emotionally) for a person. The effects of PTSD can sometimes take 6 months or longer to manifest. When PTSD immediately occurs after a traumatic event, it usually improves after three months. In children, however, PTSD often becomes a chronic disorder.
Causes of PTSD
According to Stanford Children’s Health, the following sample events may cause PTSD:
- Car accidents, train wrecks or any serious accidents
- Animal bites
- Natural disasters, e.g., floods or earthquakes
- Violent personal attacks
PTSD may be triggered by events that can be:
- Something that personally occurred in the life of the person affected
- Something that happened in the life of someone that he/she is closed with, e.g., a friend or a family member
- Something that they witnessed
Symptoms of PTSD
The list below shows the most common symptoms of PTSD. However, it is essential to note that each child may experience these symptoms differently.
- Waking up in the middle of sleeping
- Always “on guard” or feeling jittery
- Easily startled
- Loss of interest in things they previously enjoyed
- Feeling numb
- Irritability resulting to becoming more aggressive or violent
- Difficulty concentrating
Children who suffer PTSD experience an extreme level of emotional, mental, and physical distress when they are exposed to a position or a situation that reminds them of that traumatic experience in their lives. Others may repeatedly relive the trauma through the form of nightmares.
Yes, PTSD can be treated. Consult with your child’s doctor so they can determine how to properly treat your child. Some of the things that they consider in the treatment include the following:
- The severity of the symptoms
- Age, overall health, and the medical history of your child
- Tolerance to medications or therapies
- Expectations on the course of the disorder
- Your opinion or if you have any preference on the treatment
What’s important in the treatment of PTSD is early detection and intervention. When this happens, there’s a higher chance of reducing the severity of the symptoms resulting in a better quality of life for the children.
Some of the treatments for PTSD include cognitive behavioral therapy and antidepressants or antianxiety medication. Again, this will be dependent on the overall situation and capacity of the child suffering from PTSD. Regardless of the treatment, the support from loved ones will definitely influence their overall recovery from PTSD.
When to Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
PTSD does affect children, and it can occur after a car accident, bicycle accident, or a pedestrian accident and don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. If your child is suffering PTSD after a car crash, consider getting the help of a personal injury lawyer who can protect you from skeptical insurance companies and get you the compensation you deserve.
If you’re looking for a car accident lawyer in Lansing, consider The Clark Law Office. We are the leading personal injury law firm in Michigan for the last 30 years. We have won millions for our clients. When dealing with cases, we make sure to work on your case from start to finish and never pass it on to an attorney you’ve never met. Call us at your earliest convenience at (517) 347-6900 or fill out our form for a free consultation.