When your child has a chronic or terminal illness, it’s important to have a back-up plan in case your child requires an unplanned trip to clinic or hospitalization. Planning ahead will make these times less stressful.
Keep the hospital or clinic phone number near your home phone for easy access. Program the phone numbers into your cell phone.
Let your family and friends know about your child’s condition and what they can do to help. If you have other children, identify who else is available to take them to school/daycare and pick them up in case a clinic visit runs longer than expected. Also identify who is able to watch them during the day or overnight if your child is hospitalized.
Inform your employer of your child’s condition. You may need to miss work at times due to your child’s healthcare needs. You may need to utilize benefits through the Family Medical Leave Act; your human resources representative can tell you more about your employer’s policy regarding FMLA.
Talk to your child’s school or daycare about his or her condition. Make sure that they understand what your child needs to manage the illness and provide a plan of action for emergency situations. Request that the teacher stay in contact with your child during hospitalizations and absences. Talk to the school nurse about medication schedules and coping strategies.
Keep a bag packed in case of hospitalization. Keep it in a place that is easily accessible in your home. This way you can simply grab it and go.
Hospital Bag Checklist
Contact list (include family and friends that want to be informed or who may be tending to your other children or household needs)
Comfortable clothes (parent and child)
Pajamas (parent and child)
Underwear/socks (parent and child)
Hairbrush or comb
Snacks/ food items/money for cafeteria (patients receive 3 meals a day; one free guest tray is provided per room through Katie’s Helping Hands. Parents will need to bring their own food for other meals or buy food from the cafeteria on the 2nd floor. Snacks are also available in the Ronald McDonald Hospitality room on the 5th floor.)
Anything else you would add to this list? You have permission to make copies of this handout but please credit Confessions of a Young(Looking) Social Worker as your source.