Tuesday 26 January 2016

8 top tips for when your child is in hospital

Having had an unexpected over night stay with my daughter at the Lancaster Royal Infirmary here are my top tips for surviving a similar experience! These are either the things I did right or the things I wish I couldn't do as I was caught on the hop:

1) Money

You will need some for food for you as well as car parks and possibly for hospital TV. I was lucky that my mum had £5 cash on her when she had come to our rescue and driven us to the emergency unit! I was lucky that there was a parents' room which had some microwavable porridge for my breakfast.

2) Safety cups

For health and safety hot drinks have to be drunk in lidded cups. So if you are able to take one with you it will be useful. Then you can keep yourself going but be able to sit by your child's bed. At the LRI they had a few available to buy for a donation but you might not be so lucky.

3) Headphones

We had just worked out how to get the TV working when it went into speakers off mode and the ward had run out of headphones! Entertaining a child stuck in bed whilst waiting hours for a doctor is a lot easier when the technology works..

4) Phone charger

I was caught out without my charger as we out and about when we had to dash to the hospital. My phone battery went not along after we transferred to Lancaster which left me feeling cut off. Through the bedside TV I managed to get the phone number of the bed to my mum but it costs 50p a minute to call on the phone... Luckily in the morning another mum lent me her charger so that I was able to use my phone again.

5) PJs

Sleeping on a camp bed next to my child I really wish I had a nice warm pair of PJs to keep me snug! You want to feel comfy and not worry about flashing your bits to any medical staff that may pop into the cubicle overnight!

6) Earplugs and eye cover

Wards are noisy places with some lights on all night to allow medical staff to move around safely. If like me you are a light sleeper you may want to take things with you to reduce the noise and block out the light...

7) A book

There was an awful lot of sitting around waiting and twiddling of thumbs. Having a book would have saved me from having to read Hello! magazine...

8) Wash things

The RLI has a parents' shower room so if I'd known I could have taken shower gel and a towel to freshen up in the morning. I am sure that most children's units have similar facilities.

Have you got any more tips to add?

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