ER Kids: How to Survive Your Child’s First Trip to the Hospital

One of the worst feelings is knowing that your child is sick and needs to go to the hospital. It could be a virus that has caused your child to be sick for some time without eating or drinking or an injury that your child gets while playing at home or at school. The first trip to the emergency room can be frightening for both you and your child. Neither of you know what to expect in the way that the doctors and nurses will treat your child, and your child doesn’t understand about all of the equipment that is being used and the high amount of activity that is taking place in the department. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to make the trip easier for both you and your child.

Cool As a Cucumber

When your child is sick or injured, it’s sometimes hard to stay calm. However, if you want your child to get through the hospital visit, it’s important to keep your cool. Try not to cry or freak out over the sight of blood and other fluids. Reassure your child that you are right there and that you are going to stay by their side until you get back home. As a child sees a parent panic, then your child will begin to panic as well. If needed, leave them with another parent for a few moments while you collect yourself so that you are able to handle the situation in the at home, in the car and at the emergency room.

Distractions

Whether it’s a book, a toy, or an interactive patient television that’s in the room, find ways to distract your child. This will help with not thinking about the activity taking place, especially if there are shots or similar treatments that are taking place. Sometimes, the doctor or the nurse might need to perform tasks that will require your child to be still, such as taking the blood pressure. Distract your child by playing a game with the blood pressure cuff or the other items that are being used. If you can focus the attention of the child away from any pain or treatments, then future trips will likely be more successful. While in the waiting room, you can read a book together or even sing to your child to calm the nerves.

Pediatric Specialties

If you have any amount of time before going to the emergency room, then consider looking for a hospital that specializes in pediatrics. The environment will be child-friendly with children in the emergency room instead of adults who are waiting for treatment as well. Most hospitals of this nature will have toys or something in the waiting room to keep kids occupied. The rooms will also be decorated in a way that is more inviting for children. If you’re at an emergency room and there is a need for your child to be transported to a facility that specializes in pediatric care, then you’ll be notified and taken with ease so that your child is comfortable.

Offer Comfort

Make sure your child has something comforting. It could be a bear or a blanket, but it should be something that is soothing so that he can rest as much as possible. Let your child lay on your lap while waiting, or hold your child’s hand while in the room to show as much comfort as possible until you get answers about the situation.

The emergency room is the last place that many parents want to end up with their child. When a situation arises that you simply can’t take care of on your own, then it’s often the best solution. Stay calm, and protect the child while offering assurance that being in the hospital isn’t as frightening as it seems.

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