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Understanding trauma in dog-bitten children

| Jan 21, 2021 | Dog Bite Injury |

As the parent of a young child, you’ll do everything in your power to keep your child safe and away from harm. However, unfortunately, you cannot be by their side every second of the day, and sometimes accidents happen. If your child was bitten by a dog while at a friend’s house or when outside on the street, this will have been an extremely stressful time for both you and your child.

It’s likely that your first priority was making sure that your child was physically safe by taking them to the hospital and having them checked out. But even when their physical wounds are healed and they are completely healthy again, they may be affected psychologically by the event. Children are particularly affected by scary situations, and since they are still learning about the world and forming views about dangers and risks, an event like this can hugely affect their worldview. If you are concerned about your child after they experienced a dog bite, you should look out for signs of psychological trauma.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is common in dog-bitten children

A high percentage of young children suffer from PTSD as a result of a dog attack. Therefore, if your child has been bitten by a dog, you should look out for the signs and symptoms. Commonly, young children suffering from PTSD exhibit excessive anxiety, decreased school performance, have disturbances in their sleep and are easily started. You may find that your child is no longer able to relax or is not as creative and carefree as they once were.

What should I do if I believe that my child has PTSD?

Speaking to a mental health professional can help to address your concerns about your child. Therapy and counseling will likely improve your child’s situation significantly.

If your child was bitten by a dog that is not the family pet, you may be able to take action to hold the owner liable. Doing so could enable you to gain back damages.

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