Childhood Cancer

Your Child in the Hospital

Bring something to do

Emergency rooms pick the most urgent cases to treat first. Depending on the emergency room’s patient load and your child’s needs, you may wait hours for treatment.

One evening my 3-year-old, Gylany, fell off the couch, hit her head on the floor, and passed out for a few seconds. I scooped her up, grabbed my 5-year-old, and went to the emergency room. We checked in, then waited for over 2 hours. My kids were exhausted from crying. Whenever I asked the receptionist how long it would be, she said, “They will be right with you.” Gylany threw up, and we still waited a half hour before they finally saw us. We were there until one thirty in the morning.

Even if you have just a moment before bringing your child in, try to grab something to comfort and distract your child: a stuffed animal, a familiar book, some crayons, or a computer game. If you don’t have time to bring something, ask at the emergency room desk. Many emergency rooms keep some toys on hand for such occasions.

You should also try to explain to your child what will happen during the visit. Even if you don’t know the details, you can explain that the doctor will ask lots of questions, do an examination, and help her feel better. Reassure her that you will stay with her the whole time.