Being a parent is a big responsibility. Having a sick child can be very stressful in all levels and more so if you have a chronically ill child.
A Chronic illness is any illness that persists over a long period and may last throughout a person’s life. This type of illness demands continuous medical management.
It can be overwhelming for a parent to know their child is suffering from an illness, much more if it will not be for a short while. Because of this, most parents become helpless not knowing what and how they can help their young ones.
In this post you will learn how as a parent you can be your child’s biggest advocate and help in their treatment and care.
1. Know your child’s medical condition: Know everything about the disease condition of your child. From the name of the condition, what might have caused it, how it is being managed. You can know all this by asking your child’s doctor. You have a right to know so ask. The doctors and nurses also have a responsibility to inform you and educate you on it. When you know, it gives you control over how you can care for your young one.
2. Be a part of their care: You become a part of your child’s care if you accompany them on their hospital visits. Your child may be a teenager who can attend the clinic by themselves , but it always necessary for a parent to be present with them.
3. Know and monitor their medication: As a parent, you should know the medications your child is taking. The name, the type of drug, what it is used for and possibly even the anticipated side effects. You can make a habit of reading drug leaflets for such information. It gives you an idea as what to expect. And in times they may be reacting to a particular drug , you can be aware.
4. Speak to their school: If your child is chronically ill. For eg; if your child is a diabetic, you need to alert the school especially if they provide lunch for the kids so they know what your ward can eat or not. If it’s a boarding house, your child’s house master/mistress should be made aware of your child’s condition so they can provide him/her with the necessary assistance and care to help them maintain their health.
5. The whole family should be aware: When a member of the nuclear/immediate family is chronically ill, it is important if the others know about it more so if it’s a minor. This is beneficial and sometimes life saving in case of an emergency. This makes everyone in the family capable of giving an accurate history of the patient’s medical history.
6. Be an advocate for your child: I have met parents who are not able to fight for the rights of their children in hospitals, schools and even in our communities. But that is something as parent you should know how to do. Speak up when your child is not receiving the best of care or attention. That is your child so protect them with everything in you.
7. Give them all your love: Even though caring for a sick child can be stressful, it is very good for the children to know that you love them regardless of the stress, frustrations and financial strain you may be experiencing due to the illness. Remember love is also healing.
There has been many instances where parents with chronically ill children are ignorant about their children’s condition. These have led to poor choices with their care and management. But by observing these 5 points, you are sure to promote the health and wellbeing of your child.