Helping Your Kids Deal With Injury Recovery
It’s tough when your child gets hurt. As parents, the last thing we want to see is our child in pain.
Depending on the injury, recovery times can vary. For a broken bone, it may take a couple of months to heal. For a simple scrape or bruise, your child may bounce back within a couple of minutes.
However, kids often go off our reactions. The way you handle the injury at the time of the occurrence and throughout injury recovery influences your child’s perception. If you show your distress and anxiety over the injury, your child may become distressed and be unable to cope. If you focus on the pain, your child may become hypersensitive to the pain.
So, how can you help during your child’s injury recovery?
Remain Calm and Positive
Stay calm at the time of the injury. Panicking does not help the situation. Remain positive and reassure them. Help guide their injury recovery and rise to the occasion.
Your child may fear that they will get hurt again. Make them feel safe. Let them know it is okay to be scared of re-injury. Be open to talking about it. Try not to belittle their fears or cater to them. Come up with strategies to work on what they are scared of.
For example, if they fell from the monkey bars, try introducing it back a little bit at a time. The first time, have them hang from the bars. Gradually progress to them climbing across the full length.
You can use visualization and relaxation techniques to help your child cope. Help them visualize their recovery and success at returning to their activity or sport. Help them relax through deep breathing exercises. When they feel stressed or anxious, instruct them to take a big, deep breath in. Then, tell them to fully exhale, relaxing their shoulders and letting out all their worries and stress.
Help them stay positive throughout their injury recovery. Practice having them say ‘I can do this.’ And reassure them that everything will be okay.
Understand Their Emotions
There will be some good days and some bad days. Talk through it with your child. Allow them to talk about their feelings. Be a good listener.
Practice empathy. Understand that they are in pain. Work on empowering them. Build their confidence back. Do not baby them through recovery. If they can do something, let them. However, this may depend on the type and severity of the injury. If they are about to do something that would hurt or aggravate the injury, it’s best to intervene.
Get Back to Your Normal
Keep things as normal as possible. Get back to a normal routine as soon as your child is able. Again, in different situations, this may vary.
Effectively Manage Their Injuries
If you are trained in first aid, administer the appropriate first aid at the time of the injury. Use BodyICE Kids gel packs. They provide a natural way to ease the pain. Further, they have a handy strap that can help hold the ice pack in place. For kids over aged 5, the BodyICE Recovery Small Universal is perfect to fight pain and inflammation caused by an injury. Check more out about our products here.
Other ways you can help promote injury recovery with your child include:
- Distract your child from the injury. Set up a TV show for them to watch or provide books for entertainment during the resting stage. Do fun or entertaining activities throughout their injury recovery. Laugh a little.
- Show confidence in your child. Reassure them. Encourage their independence. Remember, your children look to you for ways to react to a situation. Remain calm.
- Do not criticize them or their behavior.
- Avoid encouraging the pain by saying statements such as, “I know it hurts” or “I know you are in a lot of pain.” It only draws attention to the pain and exasperates it.
- Help your child get plenty of sleep to help promote proper injury recovery and healing.
- If they are given exercises by a physiotherapist, help them complete and perform them.
- Listen to the advice given by a healthcare professional or doctor.
- Avoid being overprotective or showing stress in front of your child. It may make them feel unsafe and scared of the real world.
- Encourage friends and family to visit. Social support counts for a lot. Your child may feel left out of many of their regular activities. Visits will help them feel included.
- Feed them a healthy and balanced diet to help get them back on their feet. Injury recovery is tough. Your child may experience a reduced appetite. Encourage them to eat and provide healthy snacks and meals to help their body heal.
- If you are struggling mentally with the situation, talk to someone. There is no shame in seeking out help when you need it.
How you react to a situation greatly impacts your child’s reaction. When helping your child deal with injury recovery, stick to a positive perspective. Minimize distress. Take it one day at a time. The body has an amazing ability to adapt and recover. Foster a healthy road to recovery for your child. You and your family will come out stronger and closer if you treat the situation right.