Nov 18, 2019

How to Make an ER Visit Less Stressful for Children


A trip to the emergency room is often the last trip anyone wants to make. But it is especially stressful to take your child there. It can be overwhelming for both you and your child to navigate caring for your child’s needs while also communicating with doctors and nurses. There are a few things you can do, however, to help make a trip to the ER a little less stressful for both yourself and your child.

Be prepared

While none of us is really ever ready for a medical emergency, there are some things we can do so that if an emergency happens, we are as ready as we can be.  Gather certain information, so that you will have it handy when asked for it at the emergency room.  Some important things to have together are:
–  A list of medications that your child is allergic to, as well as a list of the medications your child is currently taking.
–  Your child’s medical history
–  The name and contact info of your child’s pediatrician and any specialists your child has
–  The symptoms or reasons for the ER visit
–  Health insurance info
Having these things ready when you go to the ER will allow you to easily give doctors and hospital staff the information they need, and it will allow you to be more present with your child in the ER.

Don’t let it get too crowded

Avoid bringing siblings or other extra family members with you.  Too many people can do more harm than good. ER visits can last for a while, and if all of your kids came with you, they are bound to become tired, hungry, and bored. They could also become a distraction for you or become frightened or overwhelmed by the hospital environment. See if you can have your other children stay with a family member or friend to keep your mind at ease as much as possible.

Bring things that will help your child feel comfortable

Bring whatever you can that will help your child feel safe and comfortable in an environment that often feels scary and unwelcoming. Some common comforting items might be
– A stuffed animal or blanket
– Coloring books and crayons
– Books
–  A tablet or laptop for playing games or watching movies

Stay Calm

Your child will often look to you for comfort and reassurance, so it is important that you stay calm and show them that everything is okay. Exude positivity as much as you can, and remind them that the doctors, nurses, and yourself, are all trying to help your child feel better together.
Ultimately, you can feel comfortable knowing that your child is in good hands and will receive the care they need.

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