How To Comfort Your Kids After A Car Accident
If your family has been involved in a car accident recently, you might want to make sure that everyone is fine, mentally and physically. If your children were in the car, they are likely to be traumatized more than you, and you need to help them deal with their problems, or they might later develop a fear of cars, driving, and busy roads. Have a chat with them, discuss the situation, explain how safe cars are, and ask for professional help if needed.
Assess the Damage
The first thing you need to do after the accident is to make sure that your children can deal with the events and they are able to understand what happened and why. Assure them that accidents are very rare, and you do everything you can to keep them safe in the car. Ask them how they feel about the accident, but don’t push them to talk if they don’t want to. Tell them about the importance of using the safety belt, and try to explain how airbags work for reassurance.
Allow them Time to Process and Heal
Don’t bring up the topic several times a day, but try to keep an eye on the children. Just like you, they might be going through a phase of anxiety that will affect their behavior and mood. Explain what you are doing to get your car back and stay safe on the road in the future. Give your kids time to heal mentally, and don’t show that you are worried about you. Even if you have to deal with a stressful insurance claim, try to remain calm around them.
Ask for Specialist Advice
If you believe that your kids are unable to cope alone, you will need to get in touch with a professional. Get a mental health assessment completed, and collect evidence for your lawyer who specializes in personal injury court cases. If your children suffered from stress and need mental health treatment, you will need to make it clear that this was directly caused by the accident, so you can claim compensation from the other party involved in the crash. If your child needs counseling long term, ask a child psychologist for a written statement and assessment, so you can back up your claim in court.
Don’t Force them Back in the Car
If your children blacked out during the accident, or suffer from panic attacks, the worst thing you can do is make them get back in the car immediately. Chances are that your child suffered a trauma, and is dealing with PTSD that requires specialist treatment. They will do everything to avoid cars, busy roads, or even buses. They might wake up in a cold sweat after a nightmare for weeks after the accident. Be patient and arrange a psychological assessment.
Children, just like adults can develop anxiety and other mental health issues after being involved in an car accident. While the damage might not be as visible as physical injuries, you will need to address it, or your kids will be scarred for life.