Children who are attacked by dogs often develop more than just physical wounds. They may be psychologically injured from the dog attack. Studies show that 1 in 10 children who suffered a moderate dog bite will develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For children who suffer severe dog bite injuries, the odds are even greater: 1 in 4 will develop PTSD.
If your child is suffering PTSD after a dog attack, they may begin to exhibit some abnormal behaviors, including:
- Fear of the dark
- Fear of being left alone
- Refusal to go outside alone
- Shy interactions with family or friends
- Aggressive actions toward family or friends
- Loss of interest in games, school, or other extracurricular activities
These symptoms can disappear over time, but PTSD is a serious issue that can require professional intervention. It is advisable to seek professional counseling for a child that has been through a traumatic dog attack to help them recover from the experience.