Parenting a Child with Leukaemia
Leukaemia is one of the most commonly occurring cancers in children and young adults. As is said and believed, the right treatment and awareness can help a cancer patient improve overtime. This treatment and awareness makes parenting quintessential for successful treatment of the disease, especially when it occurs to a child. Here are tips to successful parenting to help a child coping with child leukaemia.
- Build awareness in your child about leukaemia. If he/she is old enough, discuss about bone marrow and white blood cells. The better a leukaemia patient is aware the better he/she is likely to feel about it and understand treatment.
- Ask your child’s paediatrician for books and videos on childhood leukaemia. You may also look for resources online.
- Take your child and tour the paediatric hospital so that he/she is familiar with the long hallways, playrooms and nursing units.
- Children always look for sources to act their fears out. You may visit an experienced counsellor in any social service department at the paediatric hospital. They usually provide children with toys and dolls to use while role-playing.
- Ensure that you do not overprotect your child or restrict him/her from certain activities on the assumption that they may be harmful to his/her health. To be sure of what activities your child must invest time in, consult his/her doctor.
- Take help in parenting from families and support groups that are for children battling the disease. The best options would be those in close proximity. It has been found to be therapeutic for children with leukaemia to talk to each other.
- Pamper your child with palatable food as the chemotherapy treatment may cause vomiting and nausea.
- Encourage your child to consume fluids by providing him/her with ice pops and beverages. Avoid giving milk as a starter as that may be too hard to digest.
- Encourage your child to accommodate oral hygiene. If your child does not have the strength to brush teeth every day, wipe her gums, teeth and tongue with a pad in dipped in diluted mouthwash.
- One of the common side-effects of treatments for leukaemia is hair loss. Encourage or let your child pick out fun hats or caps if he/she becomes conscious about lack of hair.
- Spend as much time as you can with your child. Let him/her know as to how much you love her. Kind loving words will help your child generate positive energy, which is vital in enhancing the healing process.
Read more articles on Understand Leukaemia.
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Apr 13, 2012
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