Posts Tagged ‘Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’

Helping Kids Recover From Injuries

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Some 9.2 million children are injured each year. Stuff happens. So it's important to know what to do when helping kids recover from injuries. Here are some tips from the experts at The Center for Injury Research and Prevention at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia:

At the hospital:

•    Help your child see the hospital staff as helpers. Remind your child that the staff has a lot of experience helping children feel better. Encourage her to participate by asking his or her own questions to the doctors or nurses. It’s important for you as a parent to have accurate information, so ask your own questions too.
•    Be patient with your child. Children’s reactions can include crying, temper tantrums, whining, clinging and acting out in frustration. These feelings and behaviors are common but usually temporary. If your child’s behavior is becoming unmanageable, it’s okay to set rules and limits like you would at home.

After the hospital: 

•    Allow your child to talk about feelings and worries, if he wants to. For younger children, encourage play, drawing and story-telling. Ask your child (and brothers and sisters) what they are thinking, feeling and imagining. Be a good listener — and share the facts, as well as your feelings and reactions.
•    Help your child do some things on his or her own. It is often tempting to do things for your child after he or she is injured or ill. But it is more helpful for children to do things again on their own. As much as the injury or illness allows, encourage your child to do the things (including chores) he or she used to do.
•    Set normal limits. You may be tempted to relax the rules to help your child feel special, or to make up for the hard times that he or she is experiencing. However, it is often better for your child if you set normal limits on behavior and keep most of your family rules and expectations the same.

Helping your child cope:

•    Keep in mind that people in the same family can react in different ways. Remember, your child’s feelings and worries about the injury might be different from yours. Brothers and sisters can feel upset too, even if they were not involved.
•    Take time to deal with your own feelings. It will be harder to help your child if you are worried or upset. Talk about your feelings with other adults, such as family, friends, clergy, your doctor or a counselor.
•    Go back to everyday routines. Help your child get enough sleep, eat regularly, keep up with school, and — as much as the injury allows — go back to doing things with friends.

Visit After The Injury to learn more about child injury and pain care, to take a quiz to rate your child's reactions to injury, and to create a personalized a care plan to help your child recover from the injury.