Young children can become more clingy, distant, or fearful after their injury. If you had an infant who had begun walking, you might have noticed that they have returned to crawling or sitting on your lap. Similarly, a baby who is eating solids may now want a bottle again, and a toddler who was using the toilet may temporarily return to wearing nappies. This is known as regression.
Older children sometimes also show signs of regression after a burn injury. You might notice that they are sucking their thumb, lacking concentration, becoming tired easily, or wanting to sleep in your bed. This is usually the child’s way of dealing with stress, fear, loneliness and/or pain.
You should keep your family routines the same and encourage your child, rather than trying to force them to change. A forceful approach is likely to result in anger or upset. If your child’s confidence does not return after a few months, speak to your burns team for further advice.