Childhood cancer: family advice and recommendations

Childhood cancer is one of the most difficult diseases to face that exist. In reality, any pathology that affects a child has a great impact on the life of the child and their family. Childhood is a period that is supposed to be simple, worry-free, and full of innocence.

However, in these types of situations, all that can deteriorate. Family members often experience a roller coaster of emotions. From fear, sadness, anger and stress to anxiety.

What's more, making a child understand what the process they are going to go through can be complex. Therefore, in this article we explain a series of tips and recommendations to face childhood cancer, both for parents and children.

How to tell a child that he has childhood cancer?

Many times, communicating to a child that he or she has childhood cancer is one of the most complicated aspects for family members. It is difficult to find a way to explain what is happening or what is going to happen, as a result of the disease itself and the treatments.

As explained by the National Cancer Institute, the age of the infant is a factor to consider when communicating the news. However, it is important that the information your parents give you is true and accurate.

It is not adequate to camouflage the truth. In addition, you must try to control your emotions at all times, since they will interpret the expressions and the tone of the voice.

When it comes to babies or children under three years of age it is almost impossible for them to understand childhood cancer. That is why you have to try to implement other measures, to instill tranquility and a feeling of normality.

For example, you have to find ways to play that are safe for him. Any entertainment that helps you manage stress and pain is helpful. In the same way, you have to show them affection, calm and follow suitable routines.

Between three and five years of age the child should become familiar with the hospital environment and treatments. Many doctors recommend that each utensil be explained and that the little ones touch and see them before a therapy.

When they are older, they will most likely be able to understand what is going on. For this reason, it is usual that they are very curious, that they feel fear or anger. Especially in adolescence. It is essential to be honest with them.

The emotions of patients and parents are not easy to control and should be considered expected and normal.

Coping with a Childhood Cancer Diagnosis

Facing the diagnosis of childhood cancer, when it comes to your child, can be one of the hardest situations in life. As explained American Cancer Society, it is normal to have an explosion of different feelings. For example, shock, fear, anxiety, guilt, or depression.

All of them are normal. However, you have to find a way to channel them. They should not be allowed to interfere with the support the child needs and expects from their parents.

It is advisable to seek support from different specialists, family and friends. Talking to a psychologist, doctors, and other health personnel can help. In particular, it helps to be very well informed about the treatment and to eliminate any doubts that appear about childhood cancer.

It is important to open up and not keep all these tensions or fears in yourself, just like seek any kind of help when needed. For example, for work or housework.

On the other hand, you have to try to take care of yourself. Eating, getting plenty of rest, and being in good health are essential to coping with the process. Exercising helps to release some of the accumulated stress and anxiety.

Another interesting practice is to talk to other parents who are in the same situation. This helps in understanding that no one is to blame for the problem. Communication is often used to vent and learn more about the small details of childhood cancer.

Other tips for parents

There are many other tips that can help parents cope with childhood cancer, in addition to the ones we have already noted. As an article by Healthy children, one of the basic pillars is to take care of the couple's relationship. Especially in the case where the parents still have one.

The bond often breaks down. Especially because of the stress, the difficulty in dividing the tasks and the responsibility that each one assumes. Communication between the two must be encouraged.

Decisions are advised to be made by consensus. It is also important to dedicate a small space of time to enjoy together, relaxing or doing leisure activities. You can even do couples therapy.

Childhood cancer and financial problems

Childhood cancer can cause many problems at the workplace. There are parents who are forced to stop working, thus reducing their income considerably. In addition, some treatments require a high cost of medications and transportation.

In these cases it is essential to ask health professionals for help. It also doesn't hurt to try to get some support from anyone close to you or from family members.

Trust healthcare professionals

It is normal that, faced with childhood cancer, many doubts, questions and even mistrust appear. Sometimes parents feel little empathy with the doctor. It is logical to pretend that the child's treatment is the best, the most effective and appropriate for his condition.

However, always try to trust the specialists. Not all information obtained on the internet or the media is true. Therefore, any questions must be consulted with them.

Listen and talk to your son or daughter

Communication with the child is another essential aspect. As we explained at the beginning, it is essential that the little one understands what is happening. Also that feel safe and confident to ask any questions.

In addition, they may want to comment on their preferences regarding treatment from an age. That is why it is advisable to make them part of the decisions.

You may be interested in: Habits that should be instilled in children

Support Tips for Children with Childhood Cancer

Childhood cancer has a very serious impact on children who have it. There are many difficulties they must face throughout the process. At the school level they may feel marginalized.

For this reason, as we have pointed out before, it is essential to create a climate of trust and communication. From the age of seven they already understand the concept of illness and death. This is something that must be worked with tact and patience.

Letting sick children come into contact with hospital objects is a form of psychoprophylaxis.

Take care of the child's self-esteem

Certain childhood cancer treatments cause changes in appearance that can make a child feel self-conscious. For example, chemotherapy can make hair weak and fall out.

It is normal that they fail to meet all the school requirements. Still, it's important to praise their successes, understand their situation, and support them. It is necessary that they feel loved and that their self-esteem is not harmed.

Preparation for tests and the hospital environment

Childhood cancer, in many cases, is treated in special places for children. However, this does not mean that it is a different environment, which tends to produce fear and anxiety. So, the ideal is to familiarize them with this site. You can also increase comfort with toys, stuffed animals, or entertainment.

You may be interested: 4 tips to prevent and manage tantrums in children

Childhood cancer is an uphill battle

Childhood cancer is something very complex to face, both for family members and for the children themselves. Therefore, it is essential to consider the help of specialists and family members. You also have to try to create a climate of trust and security for the child.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *