Have you ever had a pediatric patient and/or their parent(s) express overwhelming feelings of fear, helplessness, and horror after a car accident, dog bite, or another type of injury? Research conducted by Flaura K. Winston, MD, PhD shows that while nearly all children and parents will experience feelings of traumatic stress in the aftermath of an injury, up to 1 in 8 will continue to experience these reactions for months. As Dr. Winston explains, the symptoms of a traumatic stress reaction include re-experiencing, avoidance, and/or hyperarousal.
As healthcare providers, it's vital to recognize these symptoms and suggest appropriate treatment for your patient and family. It's also important to remember the severity of the accident or injury does not necessarily have an impact on the traumatic stress reactions in children and their parents. Even kids who witness an accident may experience traumatic stress reactions.
What have you done for a patient who seems to show signs of traumatic stress?