June 19, 2014
Nearly two decades ago our team was planning a follow-up study with parents of injured children treated in the Emergency Department. In the very first phone interview for the study, I spoke with the mother of a teenager injured in a traffic crash. She was very happy to answer our questions about her son’s recovery but quickly added, “You should be asking about me! My son is doing well now. I am a mess.” She went on to describe feeling worried and afraid every time her son left the house, even though she knew he was not in real danger. This mother’s voice was crucial. She reminded us of the importance of asking about a parent’s own responses to a child’s injury. But what happens to the child when it is the parent who is injured?