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3 ways car crashes impact children's lives

When you get into a crash as an adult it's bad enough, but for children, it may be life-changing. The future could be full of fear about riding in vehicles. Kids can become anxious or depressed about losses over which they had no control.

For children who have been though significant crashes, getting them mental health services might become necessary. The emotional and physical strain of the crash on a child needs to be monitored to make sure he or she can grow up as normally as possible following the collision.

Possible post-accident complications for kids

Just as the circumstances surrounding each accident are unique, so are the complications for each child. Some common consequences of children's involvement in auto accidents include:

1. Post-traumatic stress disorder

This is one of the first symptom that affects children for which parents should be aware. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD ) can affect children who may not yet know how to express their fears or emotions following a crash, as it's a universally common reaction to trauma. Some signs may include nightmares or night terrors, anxiety and depression. Changes in mood or behavior should be a sign to take your child to see a medical professional.

2. Lasting injuries

An injury that may affect a smaller proportion of an adult's body will affect a greater area on a child. This means that children are more likely to suffer more significant injuries in many collisions.

The good news is that children generally heal better and faster than adults, so there's a better chance of a full recovery. Nevertheless, some injuries have life-long consequences. Brain injuries affect kids' developing brains, which could alter the way your child thinks or acts now and in the future. Similarly, a significant injury to an extremity could result in amputation or other wounds that profoundly impact your child's mobility in the future.

3. Grief and the loss of loved ones

If your child loses a loved one in a collision, there is certainly a risk that the loss will affect him or her for life. This is true particularly if it's a close family member, but any loss can cause significant trauma to the child. A parent's loss impacts a child through the loss of that relationship as well as losing the parent's financial support. This is a major concern that has to be addressed if the case goes to court or an insurance settlement is being negotiated.

Children adjust to new situations well and will be able to cope with most changes. They may need help to do so through therapy or medical intervention, however. Anyone with an injured child may decide to exercise their right to seek compensation to the fullest extent following a collision.

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