Hospital comfort kit for kids

Stress Ball

DIY Stress ball

 

Going to the Hospital is never a fun thing.  Ok, I suppose it’s fun if you are going to visit a new baby brother or sister but most often we end up there because something is wrong.  As parents, we’ve spent our share of time at hospitals like Shriners for Children for various reasons.  You probably have too, and if not, you know someone, a friend or family member who has.

In between tests, waiting for results and just recovery time it can get pretty boring…either that or it can be pretty scary for kids.

I addressed the needs of parents here, but this info is about what you can do to help out the little ones to pass the time and be a little less stressed during their stay.  Coloring books and crayons only go so far.  I’m sure you’ll agree that the television offerings leave something to be desired as well, unless you love listening to the waterfall channel.  Hey, it has its place but only for so long.

So here’s a list of things to consider when compiling a Hospital comfort kit for your children or for those that you care about.

Many of the medical procedures that kids have to deal with in the hospital don’t feel to great, in fact some really hurt.  Some things to consider to help with pain are:

Bubbles : Who doesn’t love bubbles?  When we are in pain, we don’t take deep breaths.  Blowing bubbles almost requires deep breathing which is calming and reduces anxiety.

Activity books:  Things that make you think can take your mind off of what is happening with your body.  Mazes, Word searches, puzzle books for older kids.  Touchy Feel-y books for younger ones.  If you choose story books, involve your child in predicting what is coming next in the story.  Engaging their imagination will take their minds off the pain.  The dollar store has a great variety of activity books.

Music: Your child’s favorite music can easily be put on an inexpensive mp3 player.  You can also add ‘audio books’ or stories.  I found  a wonderful free source for these is here.  Many of these you might remember from your own childhood.

Stress Ball:  This irresistible item is fun and helpful for both the patient and the parent.  By squeezing you are releasing the tension and stress of tough situations.  This can be a commercial version or the homemade version.  Just gather some round 8-11′ balloons and use a funnel and fill them with cornstarch, squeeze all the air out and tie a knot.  This would even be a great item to have in your purse for regular doctor visits for distracting children.

If you know of an upcoming hospital stay ahead of time, involve your child in preparing these items.  They’ll take more ownership and feel a sense of control over the situation.

Many hospitals, especially children’s hospitals, have Child Life Specialist, they are there to be the bridge between the hospital world and your child’s world.  They help meet the needs of your child beyond the medical stuff.  If you aren’t offered their services, be sure to ask.

I’d love to hear your experiences about how you were able to comfort your child through a stressful medical situation, please leave a comment and share your experience.

 

 

 

 

What do you think?