Medical negligence in any circumstance can have a devastating impact on any family, but when a child is the victim of medical negligence, it can be particularly difficult to deal with. The family has to deal with a whole host of emotions – guilt, anger, depression – and they have to support their child emotionally, physically and financially.
Although the injury or illness might be upsetting for the parents or for the rest of the family, it will also be incredibly difficult for the child. If they've been injured, or they're suffering from an illness, or if they were left disabled by the negligence, it will be a very scary time for them. They might not be able to do the things that they used to enjoy and they might well be upset and angry, so it's important that you learn how to deal with these new emotions. Put some support in place for the child so that they know they can come to you at any time if they're feeling upset or like they need some help, and make it clear that you will always be there for them.
Parents will have to deal with a number of different emotions when it comes to taking care of an injured or disabled child, such as anger, guilt, and even frustration. Children pick up on the emotions of their parents, and so if you are feeling guilty or upset, it's important that you don't show your child that you're feeling that way. If they see that you are upset, it will make them feel guilty – which isn't a nice emotion for a child to experience. Try to be upbeat and positive around your child, as they'll react to your positivity – it could make you both feel better about the situation. You might also feel frustrated at the situation that you find yourself in – for example, if your child is now disabled due to the medical negligence, they might no longer be potty trained, or they might be unable to speak – and this can be frustrating for both the child and the parents. You might feel frustration at the fact that your child is no longer able-bodied, but you might also feel frustrated on behalf of your child. This frustration can be tough to deal with, but again, it's important that you don't vent your frustrations in front of your child. Instead of wasting energy on being frustrated, focus that energy on finding solutions to support your child.
The most important thing in this situation is that the child continues to feel comfortable and continues to feel loved. Although they may be dealing with an injury, they are still a child, and they still need to enjoy their childhood. The wider family can really support the child at this time – perhaps by offering respite or support to the child's parents, or by taking the child for a weekend or even just taking the child out to the park.
Legal support is also available to the families of children who have had to deal with medical negligence. Although you might be wary of seeking advice, medical negligence solicitors can give you invaluable information as to which legal support you are entitled to.