No one likes to spend the night in the hospital, especially not a small child, but sometimes it is essential. Whether your child has undergone a major surgical procedure, has undergone a serious allergic reaction, is recovering from severe dehydration or injury, or needs to be kept under close medical supervision for any other reason, this is often an emotionally trying time for the family. Here are some ways you can help make their experience as comfortable as possible from the doctors at Bangkok Hospital Siriroj Children’s Clinic.
- Explain to them what is going to happen in simple terms that they will understand. Being in a hospital overnight can be unnerving even for adults, but for children who have never done it before, it can be downright frightening. A hospital can feel like a strange, foreign environment, so it is important to prepare them emotionally as much as possible. Take the time to sit down with your child and talk them through the steps of what is about to happen. Use simple language and remain as calm as possible. The more you can break down what they can expect, the less afraid they will be when the time comes.
- Introduce them to the doctor beforehand if at all possible. Try to familiarize your child with the hospital and introduce them to the staff. Remember that this is an alien place to them and it will seem a whole lot less scary if they have time to adjust to the idea and the setting.
- If they have a favourite toy or comfort object, ask the doctors if you can bring it in. Some kids have a teddy bear or stuffed toy, while others have a warm, snuggly blanket. Comfort objects, whatever form they may take, are common among children and can help ease anxiety. Hospitals sometimes have different regulations about bringing in certain items, such as flowers or latex balloons, so be sure to check with the medical staff before bringing in any items.
- Ask family and friends to send get-well cards and small gifts, can be online if you need to keep social distance. In times of crisis, it helps to remember that someone is thinking about you. Alert the people you are close to of the situation and ask if they would like to send their positive thoughts and wishes in one form or another such as video records, video calls or messages.