Kid in hospital bed

9 Tips for Surviving Your Next ER Visit

Chances are if you are a parent you’ve clocked your fair share of ER time. I know I sure have. Between breaks and blood, vomit and fevers I’ve spent more than enough time killing time as we wait for the triage nurse to call our name. Taking an extra 5 minutes to pack for the less emergent trips will make staying sane while waiting easier.

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Oh my God Becky look at her bag, its so big. You will need a big bag to carry all your survival gear, plus all the random stuff your kid hands you throughout the day (coats, socks, stuffies), and all the papers that can go along with some visits. Even if you have a half empty diaper bag or extra large purse make sure to keep a reusable grocery bag or two in your purse just in case.

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Snacking all the way. Grab some peanut free granola bars, goldfish, fruit leather or other easily portable snacks before you head out. Think high energy snacks in case you have to settle in for the long haul.  Hospital food is pricey and not always accessible and vending machine snacks are often less than healthy. To up your snacking game pack an lunch bag with an ice pack and yogurt or cheese.

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Is that a water bottle in your hand or are you just happy to see me? You will get thirsty, trust me on this. I’m sure they suck the moisture out of the air in hospitals; it takes no time to get parched. If you have your own water bottle you can refill it as needed. If you don’t like backwash, bring two.

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Idle hands are little devils playthings.Bored kids get into mischief, even extremely tired and sick kids reach the end of their rope faster when they are bored. Pack a few small toys, a book, and some paper and pens. When they need new stimulation, or when your phone dies, you will have a variety of different things to offer them for 5 minutes of peaceful play.

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The drain game.Nothing drains your batteries faster than a kid playing endless rounds of Battle Cats on your phone. If you have one, pack a backup battery, if you don’t buy one here for the future. Also pack a wall jack and cable just in case you manage to snag the one seat next to a plug in the waiting room.

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I like warm hugs.Probably the best thing you can pack for an afternoon at the ER is at least one of your child’s comfort items. Just keep in mind to bring only those comfort items that are easily cleaned.

Large zip lock bags.No jokes about this one. Theyare good for catching vomit, stashing soiled clothes, and making impromptu ice packs with vending machine ice.

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Moist Owlettes, I mean Towelettes are a must. I always keep a small package in my purse for quick wipe downs of kids, carts, seats and door handles. Lord knows the last thing you want to bring home from the ER is another bug.

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Hand sanitizer anyone. While it won’t keep the dreaded Norovirus at bay, hand sanitizer is a convenient way to prevent certain strains of flu. Like the tip above, minimizing the risk of bringing more bugs home is a good thing.

 

These are some of the ways I manage my time in the ER. While it can be tough to stay positive while waiting with a sick or injured child these tips can definitely help make it a little less stressful. If you have something to add to this list I’d love to hear it.

 

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