A dog bite can be a traumatic event for children. Even when your child does not sustain serious injuries, he or she may experience an emotional impact. As a parent, you need to know how you can help your child move past the incident.
In the aftermath of a dog bite, you may not always know how to handle the situation. Dog Gone Safe says that you should talk to your child about the bite. Children usually need help processing the events that led to the incident, as well as the bite itself. They may sometimes feel responsible, for example, and blame themselves. In some situations, a child may develop post-traumatic stress disorder. Opening a conversation can help you make sure that that your child is coming to terms with the incident and moving past it.
How to talk to children about the incident
Children may not always want to initiate a conversation about a dog bite. You may need to bring it up yourself. You might tell your child how you feel about the incident and then ask about his or her feelings. Sometimes, children may start crying as soon as you mention the event. If this happens, you should usually reassure that your child that it is all right for them to feel upset.
How to tell if you need outside help
You may realize that your child is not processing the dog bite or seems to be doing worse as time passes. Several signs indicate that your child is not recovering emotionally:
- Refusing to discuss the dog bite
- Becoming afraid of other animals
- Developing a phobia of dogs
- Doing worse in school or extracurricular activities
If you notice these signs, you may want to consider working with a therapist. A professional can help your child cope with the incident and suggest more ways that you can help.
A dog bite can affect a child’s emotions for several weeks after the incident. The recovery time usually differs from child to child.