This week, we have been discussing the emotional trauma that can follow a serious dog bite and injury, especially when it comes to children. Two of the most vital ways to help a child recover from the emotional trauma of a dog bite are diagnosis (e.g., with anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder) and treatment. The first step you should take is to speak with your child about his or her feelings regarding the dog bite experience. Here are some tips on how to speak with your child about the dog bite:
- Take initiative and ask about it, sooner rather than later. Don’t wait until you see other signs and symptoms of emotional trauma, depression, or anxiety. Talk about the dog bite soon after it happens. Begin by asking how your child feels about the experience. Avoid focusing on your own feelings or emotions.
- Don’t drop the conversation if your child says he is “fine.” It might be difficult for a child to process his emotions, especially if he is very young or if he is a teenager. Even if he doesn’t feel like he needs help, you can try to continue the conversation by asking a more probing question, like, “Were you scared when the dog attacked you?” This could give your child the opportunity to answer yes or no, and to explain why.
- Understand that not wanting to talk is a possible sign of trauma. Silence could mean your child doesn’t need emotional support, or it could be a sign of emotional trauma. If your child withdraws, loses interest in activities, or becomes anti-social, she may need help
- Know that your child might need to speak with a professional. Don’t feel like a failure if you have a difficult time getting your child to speak with you about the dog attack and her injuries. Professionals are available who are trained specifically to help children like yours. Ask your doctor for help getting in touch with one.
If your child has been injured by a dog bite in California, you may wonder who is responsible for his or her medical bills, emotional trauma, and healing. To learn more about securing compensation for the attack, speak with our Newport Beach dog bite attorneys. Call Russell & Lazarus today to schedule a free case evaluation: (949) 851-0222.