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Children’s Psychological Reactions To A Dog Attack


Children’s Psychological Reactions To A Dog Attack

Everyone, regardless of age, can be traumatized by being attacked or bitten by a dog. Unfortunately, children, commonly the victims of these attacks, frequently suffer from significant psychological impacts that can have severe and long-term consequences.

In addition to your child’s physical wounds, it is critical to consider the potential psychological suffering they may feel due to a dog attack. Knowing and recognizing the indications of psychological trauma can assist your child in receiving the necessary treatment to recuperate.

Fear of Dogs: Fresh or Worsened

Even if a dog has never bitten them, many children are terrified of them. However, due to the residual trauma of the attack, children are more likely to develop a profound, often crippling, fear of dogs following an attack. If this fear is not handled, it can remain throughout adolescence and adulthood, making life exceedingly difficult for the person. However, PTSD is an acronym for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. After being bitten or attacked by a dog, children may acquire post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.

Following are some of the most prevalent indications and symptoms of PTSD in children:

  • Intrusive, repeated, and unpleasant memories of the incident
  • Avoidance of objects linked with the incident
  • changes in sleep patterns/inability to sleep.
  • Frequent nightmares,
  • Severe anxiety, including fear of dogs, fear of returning to the site where the assault occurred, and general fear of being outside or among dogs
  • High nervousness or feeling very disturbed when reminded of the attack

PTSD is tremendously distressing, especially for youngsters, who cannot frequently express or understand their emotions independently. The good news is that PTSD treatment is often highly effective. If your child exhibits any signs of PTSD following a dog attack or bite, seek professional help from a certified mental health care practitioner.

Anxiety Disorders and Depression

Dog attacks or bites on children can cause considerable anxiety and sadness. Your child may become uneasy around dogs or dread going outside where dogs may be present. Depression and other mental health illnesses can be caused by post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological trauma.

Self-Esteem Issues

In certain circumstances, children may assume they are to blame for the attack because of something they did. This can generate great stress and shame since children may think they are to blame for their parents’ physical anguish and emotional and financial difficulties.

Furthermore, dog assaults frequently result in substantial scarring. Children may battle low self-esteem and a negative body image even after their wounds have healed. This is especially true when children sustain facial scarring or permanent injuries to areas of the body that are frequently visible, such as the arms or legs.

So, What Should You Do If Your Child Has Been Bitten Or Attacked By A Dog?

Children frequently struggle to cope with the emotional repercussions of a dog attack. They can, however, gain the tools they need to recover and go ahead with the correct treatment.

Remember that your child’s mental health is as vital as physical wellness following the attack. Ascertain that your child is evaluated for trauma and, if necessary, receives the psychological and mental health help they require. Even if your child’s doctor does not prescribe counseling, you must discuss the incident with your child and listen to how they feel in the following days, weeks, and months. Get professional help from a trained and certified therapist or counselor if you observe any indicators of hidden psychological difficulties in your child, such as changes in mood/behavior or sleeping habits.

While discussing the situation with your child, make sure they understand that they are not to blame for the attack in any way. Avoid using blaming language with your child, such as “Why did/didn’t you…” and “I told you not to…” Understanding a dog’s body language and warning signs of aggression may offer your youngster the confidence they need to heal. Knowing how to interact with dogs properly might also help your child avoid future injuries.

It is also critical that you must contact with New York Personal Injury Attorney following the attack. Healing your child’s physical and psychological damage can be time-consuming and expensive; but you should not bear these responsibilities alone. At US Legal Law firm, we fight to hold negligent dog owners liable when their pets injure others, including the most vulnerable members of our community.

Justin William, Esq.

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