Parents who have an infant keep a diaper bag packed at all times. Parents of a child diagnosed with a chronic condition or newly diagnosed acute illness need to be equally prepared. Here are five things to keep packed in a tote for easy grabbing for that emergency room visit or unexpected hospital admission.
- Keep a list of current medications and current medical history in your bag. When you are flustered in an emergency situation, you can easily forget to mention an important piece of information about your child, especially if your child is on chemotherapy or other intermittent medication. Write it down.
- Keep a change purse with a roll of quarters and a few singles zipped into your tote bag. Emergencies tend to happen when you are low on cash in the wallet. A change purse with at least vending machine money will keep you prepared for that unexpected hospital admission.
- Keep a sweater or sweatshirt for yourself. Hospitals are always cooler than you expect and nerves will make you shiver. It is the little things that make a difference and being comfortable eases your stress level.
- Keep a favorite comfort stuffed toy or blanket for your child, a book, or other item that helps to distract your child during painful procedures like blood draws and exams. Keep an extra dose of Tylenol or other as needed medications your child may need on an intermittent basis. Children who need anti- nausea medications or seizure medications may need a dose if travel has lasted longer than expected or some other unforeseen circumstance occurs. Keep those medicines in a childproof container in your bag.
- Keep a notebook with emergency phone numbers, notes from previous admissions, or any other information you may not always recall immediately. The notes you have made may make a difference in the immediate care of your child in an emergency.
Parents who have a small tote bag packed with these items can survive until family can bring other belongings for that unexpected hospital stay. Have the bag in the car to easily grab if and when it may be needed.
For more information on children coping with illness or death and dying issues, or health and safety tips for children visit http://heartfeltwords4kids.blogspot.com
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Terri Forehand is a pediatric critical care nurse and freelance writer. She has a passion for kids of all ages, especially kids who are fighting against tough illnesses and diseases. Visit her blog and website for more information. She is currently working on fiction for kids.