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Tips for kids' safe hospital stays - Your Life - Brief Article

No child likes going to the hospital, and while parents worry about what could happen there, families are surprised when they find out how much they can do to make a youngster's experience in the hospital safe and successful. Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital, New Haven, Conn., offers tips in a free fact sheet called Pediatric Patient Safety: Keeping Children Safe in the Hospital.

It provides valuable information for parents on getting ready for their offspring's hospital visit, communicating with caregivers, making sure the child has proper identification in the hospital, preparing for surgery and emergency visits, controlling infections, and reducing medical errors. It also gives tips for children. For example:

* Wear identification and allergy bands or bracelets. If something happens to your ID band, let the people taking care of you know right away and ask them to get you a new one.

* If you don't understand why someone is doing something, ask him or her to explain or ask your parents to help you find out what the test or treatment is supposed to do for you.

* To avoid infections, wash your hands with hot water and soap whenever you visit the playroom or another child's room, or use an antibiotic handwash that kills germs. Clean your hands after you go to the bathroom and before you eat.

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