How to Deal With Your Child Being Hospitalized |Building Our Story Yum

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

How to Deal With Your Child Being Hospitalized

How to Deal With Your Child Being Hospitalized



Just the thought of it has always broken your heart a bit. Some nights you couldn’t sleep as images of it flashed through you mind. So much so, you had to get out of bed and look in on your little one sleeping safe and sound in his or her bed before your mind could relax. But now the thing you dreaded has happened. Your child has been hospitalized, maybe for a routine surgery, maybe for a serious illness or injury. Either way, you feel overwhelmed with emotion as you watch your little one suffer. 


It is truly a terrible thing to witness your child go through a hospital stay because, as overwhelming as it is for you, you know it is only more so for a child. What is going on? Why I am here? Will I be okay? These are just some of the questions and fears that might be running through your child’s mind, and we know you want to do everything in your power to help him or her feel safe in that cold and foreign place. Which is why we’ve put together this list of strategies you can use to bring comfort and security to your child during a frightening time.

Prepare them in advance.



We know that some of you won’t have this luxury. With medical emergencies, a child can end up in the hospital with no warning. However, with planned surgeries, chemo treatments and the like, you usually have time to prepare your child for what’s coming. Different ages will react to different preparation strategies, so we recommend discussing such things with your child’s medical team. But one thing that will hold consistent with all ages is this: you set the tone. Your child will look to you to measure just how serious this all is. This means your fear and your anger or your calm and your optimism will color the entire experience and have a profound impact on your child’s emotional state.

Talk to them.



Even very young children have specific questions about what will happen to them. Don’t lie or sugarcoat procedures they will face and any recovery they will go through. If something will hurt, let them know. Then you can be there for them in their fear. If you minimize the pain of something, it will be a betrayal once they experience the reality. Your child needs someone he or she can trust. That someone needs to be you.

Play.



It doesn’t matter what condition your child is in. You need to find some way to work within medical constraints to bring play to your child’s life while in the hospital. Laughter, smiles, the thrill of winning a card game, and so on: such experiences will release a cocktail of stress-relieving, mood-improving, pain-relieving chemicals in the brain. Play also proves a powerful distraction from whatever harsh realities might face your child.

Familiar objects, faces, and foods.


Anything you can do to make your child’s hospital room more like home is a plus. This means bringing favorite toys and stuffed animals from his or her bedroom, maybe even a plant or two if that is what he or she loves from the house. This also means inviting loved ones to visit as often as they can. Aunts and uncles, cousins, family friends: being around the people you love and experiencing the love they have for him or her will provide a serious morale boost. And of course, that special homemade snack or dessert will help your little one feel like he or she is back at home.

Gifts.


While it’s certainly possible to overdo this, now’s not the time to worry too much about spoiling your child. A couple new toys will provide the play and distraction we mentioned above, which you can’t put a price on. You also might surprise them with a get well soon delivery. Depending on their age, you can even say a favorite superhero sent it. Why not? If we can tell healthy kids about Santa Claus, we can certainly tell a little fib about gifts from superheroes if it will lift their spirits. If it is close to Christmas, maybe get them an early gift from their wish list.

We wish no one had to watch their child go through a hospital stay, but the unfortunate truth is that many parents must. We hope that the above tips can make a gut-wrenching situation just a little bit easier. 


Have you had to use these tips before for your child?


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19 comments:

  1. It is so hard when your child is hospitalized for sure. When my son went is to have his appendix removed I stayed with him the whole time.

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  2. Oh I know this too well. My daughter has asthma and a low immune system. She has been hospitalized 2X, it broke my heart to see my baby so ill.

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  3. My kids have only ended up in the hospital on an emergency basis. I found telling them what's going the best I could helped calm them down.

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  4. I can only imagine how hard this is. Especially on the parents.

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  5. I dread this ever happening. Luckily none of my kids have ever had to stay in hospital, but if they did I'd be a mess. - Jeanine

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  6. I know when my daughter had to go in to have her appendix removed, she asked a lot of questions like this. It is a really scary thought for them.

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  7. My oldest son and oldest daughter were both hospitalized when they just shy of two. It was so difficult to experience I've gone through. Very stressful and emotional.

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  8. It's definitely nice to reassure them by having normal conversations. I can see how playing is super important too!

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  9. These are great suggestions to get parents and kids through any type of hospitalization. It's never that much fun, but making the most of it helps! I like your tip about "play". It's important to remember that kids usually don't understand what's happening and keeping them engaged in distracted play is smart!

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  10. I couldn't imagine having a kid in the hospital The one time lennox had to go to the hospital it was so stressful and emotional!

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  11. We just went through this for unexpected stay. We had 2 MRIs and 2 Spinal Taps. My poor little guy. Great tips.

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  12. I think playing with the child can lighten the mood of them being in a scary hospital. They are children and it breaks my heart to see a kid in one but laughter will always been the best medicine!

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  13. Being in the Hospital is no fun ... I remember I was in and out as a child because of Asthma and it was not cool .. great tips

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  14. This is great advice. Play really is beneficial for children. I brought my daughter a stuffed animal and it really brightened the mood.

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  15. Thanks for sharing these tips. I can't imagine having my child hospitalized. We had an out-patient procedure for our daughter once at a hospital and that was scary enough.

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  16. Thanks for sharing these tips. I hope I never have to use them...but so glad to have them.

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  17. Good tips - I hated it when my kids were in the hospital. It is so hard to see them in pain and sick.

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  18. I can't image how awful one must feel to have their kids in the hospital. These are great tips to help make it easier on both the parent and the child. Thanks!

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  19. Thank for sharing this! It's such an awful experience for sure! My oldest was in for 5 weeks after an accident when he was younger. So scary for all of us!

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