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Pediatric Cancer Blog

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6 Ways To Make Your Kid’s Hospital Room A Happy One

Posted on Mar 28, 2013

We all know that hospitals can be ugly, scary places—especially for kids. Here are some tips for keeping your kid’s room vibrant and positive.

1. Keep the blinds open – I know, it sounds like a no-brainer, right? But people often forget how great natural sunlight is for your mood! Don’t let the outside world get out of sight for too long. Whether it be rainy or sunny, open those blinds up, and crack the windows if it’s warm enough. That leads me to number 2…

2. Open the windows (if the doctors allow it) – Don’t underestimate the power of fresh air. When people stay in one room for long periods of time, things start to get a little musty. Not to mention all the not-so-pleasant smells of sterilizers, hospital food, and sick people. Fresh air brings you back to life, and will eliminate some of the sticky hospital smells. If your kid's hospital room windows do not open, try a fan or a plug-in air freshener (if the patient’s not too sensitive to smell) to give the room a fresh scent.

3. Pictures, pictures, pictures! – Among the most disheartening aspects of hospital rooms are the dreary white walls. Yuck! Cover as much wall space as you can with posters of favorite celebrities, pictures of loved ones, and drawings.

4. Home cooked meals – Nothing is more comforting than the familiar tastes and smells of mom’s cooking, and let’s face it—hospital food sucks. Listen to your kid’s cravings and indulge them (if the doctors allow it). It’s the least they deserve!

5. Introduce music the old-fashioned way – Music has a tremendous impact on our mood, and bringing it into your kid’s room is almost certain to brighten theirs. We live in a world of iPods and headphones, but playing music over an old-school boom box or a pair of speakers can really transform the vibe by projecting music throughout the room.

6. Bring personal belongings – Remember your favorite stuffed animal growing up, or that precious blanket you didn’t let go of until it was nothing but a tattered piece of cloth? Remember how comforting those things were? Hospitals provide generic blankets, sheets and towels which can leave your kid feeling out of place in a place where they may have to stay for long periods of time. Personal belongings go a long way, so ask your kid what items they need from home to make their stay as comfortable as possible.

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