In a national study of children in motor vehicle crashes, researchers at The Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia report that traumatic stress can occur without injury. Looking at a wide range of crashes reported to State Farm Insurance Companies®, researchers found that while most children did well, two percent of the children and five percent of their parents experienced multiple traumatic stress symptoms that disrupted their lives.
There are more than 1.5 million crashes involving children in the U.S. annually, suggesting that more than 25,000 children each year may require help in coping with reactions to a crash. Researchers urge clinicians to screen children and their parents after any crash experience.
"Until now, research on traumatic stress after crashes had only examined patient populations in hospitals or clinics," said Dr. Flaura Winston, M.D., Ph.D., a pediatrician at The Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia and lead author on the study. "In this study, we found that, although its less common, traumatic stress can occur in children and their parents even if a child wasnt injured in the crash." Dr Winston is also co-Director and a principal investigator on the Partners for Child Passenger Safety study.
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