Hospital Visits

Going to the hospital for procedures or illness can be very traumatic on small children. To help parents we asked our families, our nurses and physicians for suggestions of things that worked the best and pitfalls to avoid during a hospital stay. Here are their suggestions:

Keep a hospital bag packed in your car so you can easily grab and go. Items to include:
     A print out of food composition charts and other information regarding CSID
        for the hospital dietician and emergency room staff.
    Bring a copy of pertinent medical records and insurance card.
    Use a rolling suitcase, it is easier to maneuver with a small child.
    Comfortable clothing for caretaker to sleep in if your stay is overnight.
    Pajamas for your child, they do not always have to wear hospital gowns.
    Favorite small blanket and stuffed animal
    Books, small toys, coloring book & pencils or crayons
    Music your child likes to listen to
    A mug and hot chocolate packs for you during the middle of the night (coffee
        can keep you awake when you are already worried and need a few winks
    Snacks that have a long shelf life (so you do not have to leave your child
        alone to eat)
    Brightly colored signs and tape or other way of posting "Sucrose Free Diet do
        not feed this child foods without parent's approval" or similar type of
        statement. Candy stripers and other volunteers can give your child a sugar
        laden popsicle unaware your child needs a special diet.
    Toiletries for parents/guardians & child
    Consent to treat a minor and emergency numbers (for babysitter and when
        you rush out the door forgetting your cell phone)
    Extra cash (not much but enough to purchase a meal in the cafeteria)
    A note pad and pencil (helps you keep track of what doctors and nurses are
       telling you and questions you may have. It also helps you communicate
       with others who might be helping you stay with your loved one.)
    Medications you or your child normally needs including something for a
       headache or upset stomach.

If your child needs an injection or other invasive treatment, ask if it can be done in another room besides the room they sleep in. This allows the child to feel safe when they are in their hospital room.

Answer questions your child may have honestly. Children know when you are not being straight and then they lose trust making them more anxious and scared.

If possible do not bring things from the hospital into the child's house, seeing objects can remind them of the hospital and trigger nightmares (books, stuffed animals, blankets, etc.) Try and wash and repack instead.

Keep a couple of take-out menus that deliver in your bag, most hospital food is unwelcome after a couple of days. Spicy food will upset your stomach further if you are stressed already.

If your child is going to be in a hospital for a number of days or weeks and friends ask what they can bring, instead of balloons that are a hazard for small children, ask if they can stop by a teachers supply store and bring decorations that would be used on a teacher's bulletin board. This type of brightly, larger artwork can brighten a child's room, especially if it coincides with a holiday.

If your child is getting a vaccination, ask the physician ahead of time if you/they would advise the use of a cold or hot pack to help your child be more comfortable.

Teach your child the Boo Boo Bunny Poem

If a boo boo has you feeling crummy,
Stick an ice cube in my tummy.
Hold it to your boo boo tight,
Soon everything will be all right!

Boo Boo Bunnies 

Visitors can exhaust little people, so keep visits short and avoid large noisy groups.




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