Dealing with Prolonged Illnesses in Children

When a child suffers from a  prolonged illness it usually has a traumatic effect on the parents. During such times the entire family requires proper support from the doctors, nurses and hospital when planning and evaluating care.

Parents are the main constant in the child’s life and the parents know more about the child mentally than a pediatric expert can surmise through charts or assessments. Parents are also the child’s main foundation for support during the period of illness and failing to provide much needed assistance can lead to a traumatic phase in the child’s life.

The presence of the parents during health procedures reduces anxiety significantly, both for the child and parents. This applies for single parent families as well. Having the parent present during procedures gives the child comfort and reassurance.

During treatment both children and their parents can get so wound up in the medical aspect of treatment that the child’s life starts to lack normalcy. Side effects caused by curative treatment, anxiety over the future and other factors can get heavy for everyone and during such times for the sake of the child, parents should consider seeking assistance from friends, family and the medical staff.

Medical assistance can consist of your pediatrician, nurse, and a mental health expert; and some hospitals also have a nondenominational chaplain as well. The mental health expert may be a psychologist, social worker, child life specialist or a combination thereof. Though proper and effective communication, both the patient and their parent benefit from the services of a professional mental health specialist.

If the child suffers from a complicated condition for a prolonged time studies show if the parents talk to friends and family along with medical personnel they can cope with the problems better making the children cope and fight harder when needed.

Don’t keep your emotions bottled up inside. Talk to others to help you through the crisis.