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The lingering mental issues following a bicycle crash

Toronto is an incredibly bike-friendly city and there are numerous people who have traded four wheels in for two. There are, of course, numerous benefits to riding a bicycle, but riding a bicycle also comes with risks. Not only is there the risk of physical injury, such as a spinal cord injury, broken bones or abrasions, but there is also a risk of serious brain injuries, too. Even with a helmet, many cyclists are at risk of serious injury.

What may surprise many Torontonians, however, is that some cyclists are also at risk of mental or psychosocial issues, too. The group that is most at risk? Children. When a child is hit by a vehicle, he or she is at serious risk of post-traumatic stress disorder. In fact, a recent study has found that 30 percent of children will develop PTSD within one month of a bicycle accident. Moreover, the PTSD symptoms typically last between three and six months.

One of the reasons why children are especially affected is because many believe that their lives may be in danger following the crash. It doesn't matter how serious their physical or brain injuries may be; they develop stress and fear surrounding the accident.

Bicycle accidents come with serious consequences and often have a long-lasting impact. Even after the physical injuries have healed and some of the psychosocial issues have subsided, brain injuries may still persist. Sometimes just a single concussion from a bicycle accident is enough to cause drastic changes in an individual's personality, intellectual capabilities and general demeanour. For some people involved in bicycle crashes, they may never fully recover.

Source: Red Orbit, "After An Injury, Many Children Can Be Affected By PTSD," April Flowers, May 28, 2014

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