Additional information for parents

What are the things your family can do?

Decorate the room. It is important that siblings and other family members feel like they are doing something to help the child on ECMO. They can do this by decorating the child’s room with pictures and drawings and adding other personal touches.

Include the child life specialist. The family can receive help from the Child Life Specialist. A Child Life Specialist is a person who helps the entire family with things they can do while the child is in the hospital. These specialists can provide toys, mobiles, music boxes, etc for the child to use while they are sick, and they can also provide support for the siblings and the rest of the family when they come to visit.

Provide a healing environment. We want you to talk quietly to your child and touch them gently when the time is right. Hearing your voice and feeling your touch will usually comfort your child and make him or her feel better. You can bring the child’s favorite stuffed animal or toy to the hospital. You can read or sing to your child and even make tapes of your family’s voices or music to play when you are not able to be with your child. Sometimes, however, your child might get too excited when you talk to him or touch her. If that happens, your doctor or nurse may ask that all visitors just sit quietly at the bedside. We know that you want what is best for your child, so sometimes just being there with your child is the best way to help him or her heal and get better.