Acute myeloid leukemia (AML): In the hospital

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Learn how to help your child get used to staying in the hospital.

Key points

  • Having a routine for your child during their leukemia treatment can help them feel like their hospital room is their home for the time being.
  • Arranging activities and maintaining contact with friends and other people your child is comfortable with can help improve their time in hospital.

After being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), your child will spend most of the time in hospital during their treatment. Getting used to the hospital setting can be challenging for many children and teens.

Children with ALL may require intermittent hospitalizations throughout their treatment.

It is important to keep as much of your child’s home routine as possible. Maintaining a daily routine will help your child get used to the hospital room being their temporary home. If you can, try to create some "safe" time for your child in the day, where they have no tests, medications, or dealings with the health care team.

Boredom can be a big issue for children while in hospital. Helping plan diversions and activities for teens is particularly important, since they may not relate to some of the activities at a children’s hospital that may be more aimed at younger children. Talk to your child life specialist for ideas on how to help your child get used to the new hospital setting.

Here are some ways you can help:

  • Arrange calls and visits from your child’s classmates and friends, favourite teachers or coaches, or a hometown doctor who your child feels comfortable with.
  • Make videos of the family and friends that your child can watch while in the hospital.

Here are some activities your child can try:

  • Make a video that your child can send to their class at school, friends, or siblings.
  • Start a scrapbook or photo album.
  • Start a diary or journal. If your child is not sure what to write, try using prompts: for example, "Using only three words, describe your day, the weather, a person, or your mood."
  • Your child can make a video conference call with their friends who are unable to visit.
  • Catch up on schoolwork. The teachers in your child's unit can help them stay on track.
Last updated: March 6th 2018