Being in a car accident can be hard to handle for any grown-up, but it can be especially difficult for a child. When you add in the fact that ongoing treatments are sometimes needed for injuries sustained in an accident, it's easy for a kid to get overwhelmed. If your little one was in an automobile accident, assure them that everything is going to be alright. Physical therapy can be one of the most effective treatments to help a child feel better and continue enjoying all the things they love to do. Eliminate any anxiety about beginning this healthy treatment by carefully preparing your child for their physical therapy appointment.
Discuss What Will Happen in Physical Therapy
Before you bring your child in for their first physical therapy appointment, let them know exactly what will happen. Talk to the physical therapist about the step-by-step process so you can relay the specifics of your child's treatment to them, and find out which equipment (if any) will be used. That way, your child will know what will happen. The fear of the unknown is often far worse for children than having knowledge of what is ahead.
Make a List of Any Symptoms Your Child Has
Create a list of any symptoms that your child has been exhibiting after the auto accident. Work with your child to create the list. In fact, you may let them start it in their own handwriting. Just make sure you can read it and relay the information to the physical therapist in case your child gets nervous at the appointment.
Get detailed with your list by asking your child if certain pains are better or worse after they do certain activities or if they move in a certain way. Also, ask them if symptoms are made better or worse when they are resting. Making this list is important for their medical care, and it can also help your child better anticipate the type of problems that will be addressed in physical therapy.
Create a Sense of Comfort for Your Child
Before going into the appointment, reassure your child that physical therapy is not like an ordinary doctor's appointment. It doesn't involve taking blood or getting a shot. Also, let your child know that the physical therapist is their ally in healing. You may also choose to make an appointment to do something fun with your child immediately after the physical therapy session. Looking forward to a fun outing can help a child stay calm in the session.
Finally, keep in mind that physical therapy sessions are typically helpful for a child on a physical level, and they can be something that the child ends up looking forward to doing. Once your child has gone to their visit appointment, it is likely that your child will be fine with future sessions.