The Children's Accident Response Website is a website developed specifically for children and their parents that have experienced an accidental trauma. The web site contains information that aims to normalise a child's experience and teach them skills to cope with the tough times following an accident. As parents are vital to a child's recovery, information is also provided for them via a PDF file that explains what a normal reaction is and how they can help their child and themselves with the stresses related to the incident.
A degree of psychological distress is common in the initial weeks after accidental trauma and for most children these changes are transient with children and their families adapting and moving on. However, for some children the trauma, and their response, has the potential to disrupt their development of cognition, attention, personality style, self-concept, self-esteem and impulse control. Other adverse outcomes reported in the literature include; persistent mood disturbances, tantrums, mood swings and sleep disturbances, post traumatic stress disorder, phobic anxiety. This has both emotional and financial costs for the individual, their family and society as a whole.
Currently, little is offered to children and their parents at this time of great stress. What is offered is often only formalised psychological care months after the accident which can be difficult to access and financially costly. Therefore, by intervening early we have the potential to prevent the development of emotional and behavioural problems.
The website is aimed at all children and their parents who have been through an accidental trauma ranging from events such as a motor vehicle accident to a sporting injury. Although for many children, this type of intervention may be unnecessary as they report no traumatic response; the website gives all children the opportunity to reflect on their experience and learn and grow from the challenge that they have successfully overcome. There is a separate section for children 10 years and under headed by 'Wojo the Wombat'. There is also a dedicated section for adolescents aged 11 and up narrated by 'Clive and Carla'. Parents too are encouraged to not only read through their information but also their child's so they can be better equipped to handle their child's and their own emotional response.
Families should be encouraged to view the website materials as soon as they can following an accidental trauma.
As this resource or early intervention is available via the internet, it makes mental health care cost effective and allows families throughout Queensland both city and remote, to access help in their own home or while still in hospital.
To access the Children's Accident Website click here.