Watching your child struggle with a health issue can be incredibly difficult and you may constantly be looking for ways to make life easier for them and to make them as comfortable as possible throughout the day. So, here are some of the top steps that you should take if your child has a health issue.
1. Find Products to Help Them
As well as getting your child the medical treatment that they need, there are also many products on the market that could help them to live as close to a normal life as possible and which could help to make their health condition more manageable. For instance, children may struggle with dysphagia if they have issues such as a cleft palate or developmental disorders. If this is the case, and they are becoming distressed by their inability to swallow, you might consider looking at products like thick water which you can add to water to make it easier to consume for them.
2. Research Their Condition
The top way that you can help your child though, is to research their condition and advocate for them in medical settings. Researching their condition will mean that you have a lot of knowledge about their health issue and this can help you to understand what they are going through better and to find the best treatment options for them, even if these are untraditional. You should use medical websites to find out more about what your child is growing through and be careful of any non-scientific sites which sometimes give dangerous advice.
3. Let Doctors Do Their Jobs
Sometimes, it can be easy to get in the way of the treatment that your doctors are giving your child because the treatment itself has difficult side effects or because you find it hard to trust a doctor when it comes to treating your child. However, the best step that you can take for your child is to find them a great doctor and then let them do their jobs. If you are unhappy with the care that your little one is receiving, you should consider filing a complaint or getting a second opinion.
4. Put Your Child First
Whatever you do, though, it is important not to centre your child’s illness around yourself and instead put them and their welfare first, even though it can be upsetting when they are ill or taken to hospital. This might also include ensuring that you are always available to offer them a listening ear and to explain their health condition to them, and the treatment that they are being given. You might also make sure that you always have time for them, including when they are in hospital, and you should ensure that they are always your first priority, no matter what other commitments you have. You should also do what you can to make your child feel comfortable, whether this is finding the friendliest treatments, or bringing your child’s favorite toys to the hospital for them. This will then allow them to be in the best and most supported position for them to recover well.
5. Keep Yourself Calm
However, you will be no good to your child if you are unable to keep calm and collected throughout the duration of their illness, as in many cases your child will look up to you for guidance and their emotions may reflect your own. Rather than panicking, you should do everything that you can to stick to the facts and to think about the logical conclusions, rather than worrying about ‘what-ifs’ and events that have not happened yet. You might try to take up meditation or deep breathing exercises or journal your emotions so that you do not break down in front of your child. If you are unable to stay calm, you should try to avoid showing your child that you are panicked and consider leaving the room or getting a relative or friend to care for your child when you feel emotionally unable to. At the same time, though, you may want to share with your child that it is okay not to be feeling brave and to be scared, and you should make sure that they know that you are there for them.
6. Stay Proactive
The hardest element of watching your child go through a health issue is that you may feel as if you are unable to do anything to help them. Therefore, you should stay as proactive as you can, advocating for their health and ensuring that you are constantly looking for ways to make them comfortable and safe. If you have run out of actions that you can take to help your child, you may look at helping others by raising money for charity or volunteering. However, you need to do this in balance and sometimes the best action that you can take is doing nothing at all and simply staying with your child and providing a shoulder for them to cry on.
7. Communicate With Them
It is also important that you communicate with your child as much as possible and that you do not hide the seriousness of their condition from them. Without scaring them and giving them all the intricate details, it is important to be honest with your child and to speak to them in clear terms that they will understand, depending on their comprehension levels. You should try to be led by your child when you are having conversations with them and you should not bar information that they want to know from them. You should also try to give them as normal a life as possible, with all of the discipline and the routine that they previously received.
8. Care for Any Siblings
With all the attention on your poorly child, it can be easy for their siblings to feel jealous, isolated, and left out from the family. This can then lead them to act out. You should make sure that you give ample amounts of attention to your other children, that you spend time with them away from your sick child, and that you make sure that they are also well looked after and are able to share any worries that they have with you.