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Mended Little HeartGuide

Diagnosis 3 In The Tips for Emotional Wellness During a Hospital Stay Your child’s stay in the hospital will not be an easy experience, but there are things you can do to minimize the inevitable stress. Here are a few important things to remember: Take care of yourself. If you are going to be the best possible caregiver for your child during a hospital stay, you will need to take care of yourself. Your child needs you to be able to make the best decisions about his or her care and you can’t do that if you are neglecting your own health and well-being. When you feel overwhelmed, sad or angry, find ways to take care of yourself and get a break if you need one. The Taking Care of Yourself section of this Mended Little HeartGuide will give you tips on how to do this. Take care of your other children. The hospital stay can be a frightening time for your sick child’s siblings as well. Let them know when hospitalizations are coming up and help them prepare. Here are a few tips: • Let them know who will care for them and when they will see you. • Get help from social workers and child life specialists to give them age-appropriate information about their brother or sister’s surgeries and/or procedures. • Read them books to help explain what will happen in the hospital. There are some good children’s books about hospital visits that you might find helpful. • Make sure that their caregivers and teachers know what is going on and that they might need to expect unusual emotions and behaviors. • Try to keep some aspects of siblings’ lives routine to reduce their anxiety. • Involve brothers and sisters in the sick child’s care by encouraging them to do things such as making homemade cards to hang in the hospital room. Honor their important role in helping the family get through this hard time. • Do something special with your other children. Even a few minutes of your time will go a long way. If you will be away from them for a long period, schedule some special time when you return. Talk to the hospital’s social worker about your feelings. He or she may have information and resources that can help you manage the emotions that come with being in the hospital. 1 General Information 2 Prenatal Hospital 4 Living With CHD 5 Forms 51


Mended Little HeartGuide
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