Parents & Family
We encourage parents to spend time with their child in the hospital. Parents can stay with their child 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
We encourage parents to take an active part in their child’s care. You can bathe, dress, and care for your child as you would at home. If your child needs special care, your clinical associate or nurse will help you.
Your observations about your child’s condition are important to us. Please speak to your child’s nurse or doctor if you notice anything different or unusual about your child’s condition.
Each day the health care team meets outside your child’s room to discuss the plan of care for your child. This meeting is called walking rounds.
The team looks at your child’s blood tests, input/output, and talks about how your child is responding to treatment.
Every morning the team will also examine your child and talk with you about the plan of care.
To help with this process, we ask that patients and families stay in their room from 9am – 11:30am M-F.
Write down questions you have before rounds to help you remember what to ask!
Vital signs are blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, and breathing rate.
Vital signs help the healthcare team know how well or how ill your child is.
Your child’s vital signs will be checked at least every 4 hours.
I/O Intake & Output
As part of your child’s care, it is important that we keep accurate records of fluid intake and output.
Intake means how much fluid your child is taking in by mouth (drinking), and into a vein (intravenous or I.V.)
Output means how much fluid your child is putting out (urine, vomit and stool).
- Intake and output (I/O) may be measured every day to keep track of what and how much your child drinks, how much I.V fluid your child receives, and how much your child puts out.
- A worksheet may be placed in your child’s room each day to help keep track of this information.
If your child uses the urinal or bedpan, do not flush the urine in the toilet until it is measured.
If you change your child’s diaper, do not throw it away until it is weighed.
- Please remember to always wear gloves for 48 hours after chemotherapy has been given when you are handling urine, vomit or stool.
Knowing your child's weight is important. Your child’s weight may be checked as often as 2x/day.
Weight loss may mean that your child is not eating or drinking enough.
In some cases, your child may gain weight from too much fluid.
The health care team needs to know when your child’s weight changes during treatment.
The dose of chemotherapy may also change if your child’s weight goes up or down.
Hand hygiene is the single most important way to prevent the spread of illness-causing germs.
Hands should be cleaned by all family members, visitors, and the healthcare team upon entering the room, before touching the patient, after touching the patient, after using the restroom, and before eating. It is extremely important to perform hand hygiene before touching your child’s central line.
Hand hygiene includes:
- using hand sanitizer gel
- washing hands vigorously with soap for 20 seconds and rinsing with water for 10 seconds
- Daily baths/showers are highly recommended for patients with low blood counts, especially the ANC.
- A daily bath/shower helps to decrease the number of bacteria that live on the skin.
- Apply moisturizers after the daily bath/shower to help maintain skin integrity, minimizing the risk of infection that can result from dry, cracked skin.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends the following for pediatric patients receiving chemotherapy, radiation, and bone marrow transplant (BMT):
- Use a soft nylon toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste 2-3 times daily
- Replace toothbrush every 3 months
Brushing your teeth is in addition to any oral rinses prescribed by your doctor.
Apply lip balm several times per day to prevent dryness and cracking.
Most children feel well enough to go to the playroom and to participate in CHOC Children’s School.
The schoolroom is staffed by a credentialed teacher from the Orange Unified District.
Schoolwork appropriate for your child’s age is provided on school days during the school year.
The Playroom is generally open Monday through Friday from 10 am to Noon, 2 pm to 4 pm, and 6 pm to 8 pm. Times the playroom is open are posted outside the room.
The 5th Floor Teen Room is located on the unit annex for the use of patients 13 years and older.
Child-Life Specialists work in both the playrooms and patients’ rooms – please ask your nurse!