TENDING TO A CHILD IN THE HOSPITAL:
PREPARING TO GO HOME
When it comes time to leave the hospital,
you will need to consider how to care for your child at
home. Your child's cardiologist will provide guidelines
on diet, medications, rest, returning to school, exercise
restrictions, and required follow up visits. At some point,
a social worker may also visit to offer assistance with
at home care, insurance or additional therapy. They can
arrange a home care agency to provide you with a visiting
nurse, physical or occupational therapists and any necessary
medical equipment (i.e. oxygen tanks, feeding pumps). Additionally,
they can recommend a counselor or support group to address
your psychological or social concerns.
Once your child is home, a great deal of understanding, reassurance and extra
loving is needed before family life returns to normal. During the first week,
your child may be clingy, more fearful or overly concerned about his/her health.
His/her eating and sleeping habits may also be different after hospitalization.
In addition, you may notice a change in your child's relationship with his/her
siblings. It is not uncommon for siblings to feel neglected or resentful of
the extra attention given to your hospitalized child. With time and patience,
your child should be able to readjust to family and school life without difficulties.