Coping with changes following a burn:
Your child will be very happy to once again be with his/her toys, friends, school, and family. However, your child's burn care and emotional recovery will continue when you leave the hospital. Along with the excitement, you and your child may also feel uneasy about what will happen next.
Your entire family has experienced a crisis as a result of the burn, hospitalization, and the disruption of home life. Children are affected not only by how a crisis impacts their own lives, but also by their parents' reactions to the situation. Below are some important strategies for helping children and parents cope with the stress of the child's injury, the hospitalization, medical treatment, and now returning home:
- Try to set up a daily routine that includes some of the daily activities that you did before your child's injury.
- Take one day at a time. Make simple goals every day; be proud of your child's daily achievements.
- Take care of yourself, as a caregiver of your child.
- Remember, the way your child comes through this situation will largely be determined by the way you handle it. Your child can be stronger as a result of this experience.
- Understand your child's level of development. Be on the lookout for symptoms. Do not punish your child for symptomatic behavior.
- Expect regression, changes, problems, and anger.
- Talk with your child often. Do not assume that if he/she has not mentioned it, it is not on his/her mind. Tell the truth. Tell your child how you feel, but be careful not to overwhelm your child if you are having difficulty coping.
- Encourage your child to express opinions, suggestions, and solutions.
- Reassure your child of the normalcy of their feelings. Expose your child to other children of the same age with the same problems.
- Encourage your child's development of competence and independence.
- Inform the school. Talk with your child's teachers.
- Inquire about support groups.
- Let others help you. Seek professional help, if necessary.
- Reassure your child of parental love, support, and constancy.