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If Your Child Has Trouble Adjusting After a Burn Injury

Symptoms that your child may be having trouble adjusting

It's very hard to cope in times of stress. Children are less able to cope with stress because of their limited life experience. Some symptoms that your child may be having trouble include:

  • Agitated behavior, such as crying or thumb sucking

  • Disturbed body functions, such as eating, sleeping, or going to the bathroom

  • Separation anxiety, such as clinging, refusing to sleep alone, or wanting to be held all the time

  • Sleep problems and nightmares

  • Lapses in toilet training, dressing, or self-feeding skill. For instance, a child who is potty trained may start having accidents. 

  • Withdrawal from family or friends 

  • Less self-confidence

  • Makes negative comments about self

  • Verbal and physical aggression

  • Repeated episodes of sadness

  • Acting out traumatic events in play

  • Trouble concentrating 

  • Behavior changes (the quiet child may become frantic and the energetic child may become lethargic)

  • Physical problems, such as headaches, stomachaches, or dizziness

  • More dependence on parents or caregivers

  • Resentment of unfairness of situation, blaming

  • Trouble with peers

  • Unrealistic expectations of self and others

  • Concern with body image

  • Frustration and rebellion

  • Reluctance to trust or open self to others

  • Feeling hopeless, that life is meaningless

  • Depression

  • Poor impulse control, easily frustrated

  • Drug and alcohol abuse

Any unusual, ongoing behavior should be checked by a mental health provider. It often helps to seek professional care when you are concerned or unsure what do next. If one or more of these behaviors continues over a long period of time, professional help may be needed. Contact your child's doctor to talk about these changes or get a referral to a psychologist or psychiatrist. If the behavior problems are severe enough, go to the emergency room.

Online Medical Reviewer: Amy Finke RN BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Liora C Adler MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 2/1/2019
© 2000-2019 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.