I am a Girl Scout and I just completed my Girl Scout Gold Award. The Gold Award is the highest achievement in Girl Scouts and is equivalent to the Boy Scouts Eagle Award. For my Gold Award project I provided welcome kits to the children at the UC Davis Children’s Hospital. The welcome kits included a pillowcase, a “Get Well Soon” card, a math game packet, and a copy of Barf’s First Flight--Lessons in Helping Others. The children decorated the pillowcases to make their room at the hospital feel more personal and comfortable. In addition, I provided the hospital with hand sanitizers, tissues, coloring books, crayons, fabric markers, and teddy bears. Throughout my project, I got to spend time with the children staying at the hospital and hear their stories. The pillowcases were a huge hit with the kids. It was very important to them to be able to do something for themselves. They got to pick what went on the pillowcase and they got to keep it. The children loved being able to make their own decision; it gave them a sense of independence and control. In addition, the “Get Well Soon” cards were what the parents loved most. The cards were made by students in my community, and it meant so much to the parents that someone somewhere was thinking of their child and hoping that they get well soon. I don’t have the perfect answer on how to make a child comfortable while staying in a hospital, but this is meant to be a helpful start.
Step 1: Step 1
Ask director of children’s ward what activities they have to make your child more comfortable during their hospital stay? Will my child receive a welcome kit? Will my child be exposed to playtime activities? Will my child have the opportunity to participate in an art project/musical activity/storytime? Will their be volunteers to spend time with my child if I can’t be there?
Step 2: Step 2
Art projects give the kids an opportunity to remove their minds from their illness and enjoy creativity. It allows them to make their own decisions and gives them a sense of independence.
Step 3: Step 3
If your child is able, special field trips like going to the zoo offer them a break from their illness.
Step 4: Step 4
Give yourself time to take a break and take advantage of the kindness of the volunteers and nursing staff.
Step 5: Step 5
Above all, remain calm, supportive, and loving. Count each day as a blessing.