Childhood Cancer

Your Child in the Hospital

Stay with your child

Whenever your child goes to the emergency room, he should have a reassuring parent present if possible. At times, staff members may try to keep you out of treatment areas. Doctors and nurses might worry that you will get in their way or further agitate your child. If you are very emotional, these may be valid concerns. However, you usually can insist on staying with your child if you are calm. Use your judgment—if your child is unconscious or has suffered severe trauma—it may be best to wait outside.

Most injuries and illnesses are not severe, and your child will probably draw more comfort from having you present than anyone else. You can provide great reassurance by holding your child’s hand, singing, or quietly explaining what’s happening.

While the doctor manipulated the broken bone, I kept bodily contact with Aurora. I stroked what I could. At one point, I held her foot. It helped her be calm and feel connected. I stood at her foot when they were working by her head. I stayed where they weren’t.

When you arrive in an emergency room, you must fill out paperwork, including medical history and insurance information. This can be time-consuming and, if your child is seriously ill or injured, hospital staff will want to begin treatment immediately. You can ask your spouse or a friend to handle the paperwork, or take it into the exam room.