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Self Care

Self Care for Parents while dealing with a child's injury

worried mom with child in hospital

In addition to all the things you do to help your child, it's very important to take good care of yourself.

It is harder to help your child if you are feeling really worried, upset, or overwhelmed.


Other parents have said:

           "I can't stop thinking about what happened."
           "I get upset when something reminds me of it."
           "I worry a lot more now about my child being safe."

This section has information on some of the reactions you may notice in yourself.

Self Care for Parents while dealing with a child's injury

Taking care of yourself: Re-experiencing

  • Talk with friends or family about your own experiences and feelings about your child's injury.
  • Help yourself deal with overwhelming or troubling thoughts by learning how to "take a break" from them at times - do something fun, spend time with friends, get busy with other activities.
  • If talking with your child about his or her reactions makes you feel upset or worried, it's especially important to find someone who can be a listening ear for you.

Taking care of yourself: Avoidance

  • Notice when you feel worried or nervous - are there situations in which this seems to happen more?
  • If avoiding reminders is keeping you from doing important things, enlist a friend or family member to help you - ask them to encourage you to keep doing those things and congratulate you when you do!
  • Be especially careful that any new worries you might have don't stop you from letting your child do things that are safe and appropriate for his /her age. Use a friend or family member as a "reality check" for yourself.
  • Try to make yourself do just one or two activities or spend time with friends, even if you don't really feel like it at first. Sometimes "just doing it" can be the first step to feeling a little better.

Taking care of yourself: Hyper-Arousal

  • Remember that feeling a bit jumpy or worried is a natural reaction to going through something scary, and that it will get better with time.
  • Even if you can only get a short break from caring for your child, home, work, use it to get some exercise and do things that relax you -- go for a walk, relax with a funny movie or a good book.
  • Try to keep some daily routines the same.
  • Try to get to bed at a regular time, and to make the hour before bed a relaxing time.
  • Be especially careful not to increase your smoking or alcohol use to deal with stress.

Getting extra help for yourself

Think about getting some extra help if your own feelings and reactions after your child's injury are bothering you, or are making it harder for you to help your child get back into normal activities. Click here to find out more about getting help for yourself while dealing with your child’s injury.