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The most common reason for a hospital stay is a chest infection
If your child is very unwell he/she may be admitted to hospital for further investigations and treatment. The most common reason for a hospital stay is a chest infection, which needs to be treated with intravenous antibiotics every day for two weeks. That means your child will need to have a ‘line’ inserted, usually in a vein in their arm, for the antibiotics to go into their bloodstream. Your child will be given a local anaesthetic beforehand so it won’t hurt, although it can be quite distressing for the parent to watch.
Your child will stay on a paediatric ward with other children. Sometimes if they are growing a specific bug in their sputum they will be given their own room to avoid cross infection with other children on the ward.
Many parents stay with their children and sleep on a camp bed by the child. Some hospitals also have special accommodation for parents.
Going into hospital can be very overwhelming for children, as they don’t know what to expect. If they haven’t been into hospital before there are books that explain what it is like and they may help reassure your child. Many of these books can be found on Amazon. You may also find the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children website useful.
Most children’s wards have a play specialist who will explain to children exactly what’s going on, and help keep them occupied. Through distraction techniques they can support your child and family during procedures.