Mary Bridge Children's Hospital

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Tips for Parents

Helping Your Child Cope

Familiar routines and activities can help children and teenagers cope with stressful healthcare situations by strengthening their sense of security and confidence. Here are some suggestions.

Maintain consistent routines.
  • Provide familiar objects for your child, such as a blanket, stuffed animals and his/her own pajamas.
  • Encourage quiet activities, such as music, movies, and books in the early stages after a procedure or surgery.
  • When your child is feeling better, encourage him/her to participate in activities provided by the Child Life Department, including arts/crafts, board games, video games, group activities and pet therapy visits.

You can also help your child cope with pain and deal with his/her feelings. Here are some tips:

  • Continue to touch your baby or child and speak softly and reassuringly.
  • Offer pinwheels or bubbles to blow. Blowing helps with pain and rebuilds lung strength.
  • Give your child clay dough or pounding boards to help diffuse anger.
  • Help young children cope with routine medical care by giving him/her a “play doctor kit.”
  • Encourage older kids and teenagers to express their feelings in a journal.
  • Invite family and friends to visit as appropriate.