Childhood Cancer

Your Child in the Hospital

Using technology to keep in touch

After the initial contacts have been made, the people in your life will be eager for updates, and many families use technology to keep in touch. Many hospitals now have free wireless internet access (Wi-Fi) in the room, in the parents’ lounge, or in a communal room. Some internet service providers offer their own Wi-Fi adapters that can be plugged into a laptop to provide access anywhere there is cell phone service. Smartphones and other personal data devices also have internet access.

Once connected to the internet, many options exist for keeping in touch, including Facebook®, Twitter®, and blogs. Some parents establish an email group and send regular updates to the list. If your child has a lengthy hospitalization, one easy way to communicate with your friends and family is to use CaringBridge (, which provides free websites to families and friends of seriously ill individuals. Its templates make it easy to set up an attractive site, and the software allows you to add text and photos. Parents, siblings, or the sick child can create journal entries that track the progress of treatment and discuss fears, inspirations, hopes, or needs. There is a guest book where well-wishers can post words of love and encouragement. Finally, you can make the site as public or private as you wish and link your site to other places, such as a blog or Facebook® page.