Bringing a sick child to the hospital can often be an overwhelming experience for parents and families. I sat down with Traci Woods, the director of family experience at Florida Hospital for Children, to find out some quick tips for parents that can help make the experience a little easier. Here are the top five tips that she has for parents:
Bring a familiar item for your child
If parents can bring their child's favorite stuffed animal or blanket that often helps them feel a little more relaxed and comforted. Having that familiar item with them in a new place can make a huge difference in how the child is feeling.
Florida Hospital for Children has a wide variety of toys and books that our Child Life Specialists use to distract kids when they are in the hospital but sometimes kids want their favorite distraction from home, such as an iPad or music player. We encourage parents to bring those items. If the item can distract kids from any pain or discomfort during their stay in the hospital, then bring it!
Warm and fuzzies
This tip is for both the patient and the family. It can get cold in the hospital, even in July, so make sure you bring a sweatshirt and socks. A blanket from home can also be a comfort for both parents and patients. We do provide blankets but we know that sometimes families like to bring their own warm and fuzzy items. Also, don't forget your child's pajamas. When kids have their own pajamas and socks, we know they feel more comfortable. That can make a big difference.
Don't forget the Phone charger
Parents, this one is for you. We live in a digital age and are in constant connection with friends and family. Don't forget to bring your phone charger with you. The patient rooms have plenty of places for you to plug in your electronics so you can keep in touch.
Bringing your child to the hospital can be a very overwhelming experience. On the average day, you may interact with 70 different people including housekeeping, nurses, physicians and more. Keep a notepad handy so you can jot down important things such as your physician's name, tests and procedures, etc. You can also write down any questions you might have as you think of them.
Coming to the hospital does not have to be a scary experience. The whole Florida Hospital for Children team really tries to integrate play and laughter whenever appropriate to help make the overall experience better, not only for the patient but also the family. Also, if you forget any of the essentials during your stay, we can help. For more information, please visit www.floridahospitalforchildren.com.