As a parent you are part of Paediatric Intensive Care

For your child, you are the most important person in the team.

No-one else can offer them the comfort that you can. Even if your child is asleep or unable to move because of tubes and machinery, there are still ways to fulfil your role as a parent. They will gain comfort from the sound of your voice, the touch of your hand and the smell of your skin. For older children, you can read them a story or bring in their favourite music, DVD or game. You know how to communicate to them and help them through fear and pain in ways that no-one else can.

If you have a newborn baby, being in Paediatric Intensive Care can interfere with those precious early days when you get to know your child. It is important to find ways to introduce yourself to your baby. Babies learn to recognise voices first and your voice will be the one constant for your baby. Another thing you can do is to express breast milk for your baby. Staff can give you advice about this.

If your child is stable, the PICU nursing staff will also encourage you to take part in your child's normal personal care like washing, teeth cleaning, changing nappies and dressing. Not all children in PICU are sedated or comatose, and if your child is stable enough then you can watch a DVD with them or communicate using a tablet computer. As your child recovers and gets ready to leave PICU then your involvement with them will become more normal again.