Activities after a blood and marrow transplant

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Learn about child-friendly activities in the hospital, after a blood and marrow transplant.

Key points

  • A child life specialist will work with you and your child to help them adapt to the hospital environment and engage your child in activities.
  • Play therapy, school work and music therapy to help them recover, promote self-expression, and keep up with their studies.

Once your child has the blood and marrow transplant (BMT), they will spend a lot of time as an inpatient in the hospital. This way, your health-care team can provide the best care for your child. Along with recovering from the transplant procedure itself, many children may find adapting to their new hospital environment stressful.

To help, it is important to continue some activities that your child enjoys. A Child Life Specialist will work with you and your child throughout the hospital stay. You can work together to engage your child in activities.

Play therapy

This therapy uses play to help your child express their emotions and feelings. A child therapist engages your child to help deal with what they are going through by using creative techniques such as, drama, drawing, story-telling, puppets and masks, music, dance, and clay. This helps give them strategies to cope with their circumstances which they cannot change, and look forward to a positive future.

Some hospitals will have a therapeutic clown. They help bring laughter and joy to your child while they are being treated in the hospital. The clown engages your child to play and have fun, helping them deal with the stress of medical tests and operations.

School work

During the regular school year, all children having a transplant may continue their school-work as long as they feel up to it. A teacher may be available at the hospital and part of your child’s health-care team. Please bring your child's current schoolwork or projects to the hospital. This will help the teacher work more effectively with your child.

Music Therapy

Music therapy can promote self-expression and quality of life. It distracts your child from pain and reduces anxiety. Your nurse or social worker can contact the music therapist when your child is admitted to the BMT Unit.

Last updated: January 6th 2010