Wednesday, 30 August 2017

George catches a cold

George catches a cold
Ladybird books, 2017
Based on the TV series Peppa Pig created by Neville Astley and Mark Baker


"Oh dear!" George was out in the rain and now has a cold.


It has been a terrible flu season and so many have been knocked flat. If you, or a little one near you has been sick and needs cheering up, Peppa pig might help bring a smile. Sickness can bring a sense of loss and confusion. Children recovering may be sad from activities missed and other uncertainties. "George catches a cold" could be a good conversation starter, helping parents listen and kids let feelings out.

Peppa pig fans will see a funny side to being sick. "Silly" George doesn't like wearing his rain hat, he is having so much fun jumping in the muddy puddle and making noise. George throws his hat in the muddy puddle too. Peppa, in big sister fashion "grunts" disapproval, older siblings of toddlers may nod in agreement.

Sure enough, George catches a cold. Mummy pig thanks Doctor brown bear for coming. Your preschooler might relate to opening their mouth wide and saying "ahhh". Perhaps, like George, they are worried and hold a favourite toy. George gets better and returns to his noisy self, family fun begins again. I hope you enjoy this calm, bright and quirky book, Peppa pig has alot to share.


How to help children cope when they are sick or need medical procedures?


Both health professionals and parents may want to know how to help children cope better during doctors visits and medical procedures. This can be particularly challenging for kids who don't like to be touched, hate taking medicine, are in pain or experience unresolved fear from previous medical procedures.

Parents may need reassuring that it is OK if their child is crying when it is time for a needle or medical procedure. Paediatric nurse, Brooke Batchelor, hosts a helpful parent blog and Facebook page. In the Emergency department and at home Brooke has found a child laughing is a child releasing tension stored up. Brooke talks about play and "play listening", little games that start laughter and lead to better coping. Parents and professionals who want to find out more, listen to the Handinhand parenting podcast "assisting children in your office or hospital setting" (50 min). For a quick read article on the value of play and preparing children try Taking the fear out of the hospital, with furry friends and fun by the Mayo clinic.


Why does AWCH keep talking about preparing kids and coping?

AWCH wants to help parents/carers and professionals make healthcare experiences as normal as possible allowing kids to keep on developing. When a newborn baby, young child, child or adolescent is not coping with healthcare experiences and their needs are not met, impacts can be carried into adult life. AWCH values parents and carers finding ways of coping, being less anxious and preparing children. Preparation in advance will help avoid trauma and lifelong negative impacts on health and wellbeing.

More links?

Find more links on AWCH library page, including Needles and Needle-related medical procedures.




Feedback

Is there something that works for you, for example with pill swallowing? Please share to help others.




Jillian Rattray
AWCH librarian
Email: Jillian@awch.com.au
AWCH Library


Please note: Books can be borrowed from the AWCH library within Australia (for the cost of postage). We have books for preschools and longday care centres to borrow, we also run healthcare familarisation storytime

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Children in hospital: a guide for family and carers

Children in hospital: a guide for family and carers by Richard Lansdown
Oxford University Press (Oxford Medical Press) (1996) ISBN: 0-19-262357-5

"Matching the intervention to the child"...




Children in hospital: a guide for family and carers is an information-packed book combining research and personal experience. Written by Richard Lansdown, formerly consultant Psychologist at Great Ormond St Hospital London, one of the world’s leading children’s hospitals.

Although the book is over 20 years old, families, healthcare professionals, early childhood educators and students will find a useful overview supporting children in hospital and healthcare. Researchers continue to read this book today.


Child rights

Have we come to expect child-friendly services? Lansdown writes about early hospitals and emotional aspects such as separation and the battle of early visitors, this gives a significant background. Development of child rights in hospital, saw the emergence of advocacy organisations and the Charter for children in hospitals, NAWCH 1984.

In Australia, AWCH promoted child rights and better healthcare with Health care policy relating to children and their families published 1974, revised 1999 and Charter on the rights of children and young people in healthcare services, 2010. Understanding child rights in healthcare is essential. An 11 year old girl on a children’s ward in the UK asks “aren’t we kids supposed to have a bill of rights when we are in hospital?", Children's hospital charter revisited.


Fear and coping

Children and families going to hospital or healthcare appointments may be fearful, Lansdown approaches the topic from a child’s perspective without being simplistic. You will find practical information about children’s understanding of health, illness and treatment. Play in hospital and play specialists (also known as child life therapists or specialists) guide children towards meeting their emotional needs.

Pain

Parents and carers can be supportive when a child is in pain and often know what techniques are likely to distract their child during medical procedures such as injections. Children turn to their parents or carers to see if it is safe and to know what to do.

The chapter on pain gives an understanding of its impact on children. Information and support are based on the child’s developmental stage and what works for them. Supportive strategies for children facing painful procedures include active distraction. This may involve reading books, toys, songs, stories, video games, mobile apps and new technologies such as video goggles. Other supportive strategies are participation, desensitization and modelling, watching a film that shows other children and mastery coping or coping models (initial anxiety then coping). Being noisy (counting out loud), guided imagery, relaxation and breathing techniques are some more options to consider.

A combination of distraction strategies might be used such as bubble blowing and guided imagery. For example, a child is asked to visualize the colour of the pain and places it on a bubble as though it was an imaginary cloud floating away. As the pain moves off, the bubble changes to the child’s favourite colour, blowing away pain and fear (p 116).


Talking with children

Summaries of pain assessment tools show how children rate their pain. Why ask children about pain? Adults usually explain how important a procedure is but there could be a gap in the child’s thinking. For example, a finger prick/injection to take blood may leave some children wanting information about why it is being done and what will happen next with the blood.

Children in hospital: a guide for family and carers reviews literature and includes bibliographical references providing a quick source of information for healthcare professionals and students. Families will find it is easy to dip into relevant sections. This book gives a valuable overview on the wellbeing of children in healthcare and also shows glimpses of what a good children's healthcare service should look like.


More information

For more information about supporting children through medical procedures, see Needles and Needle-Related Medical Procedures links.

AWCH also holds a copy of Needles: helping to take away the fear, a booklet for parents based on information provided by Dr Richard Lansdown produced by Action for Sick Children, 1994.





Jillian Rattray
AWCH librarian
Email: Jillian@awch.com.au
AWCH Library




Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Grief in children

Grief in children: a handbook for adults

Atle Dyregrov
2nd edition, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London, 2008. ISBN 9781843106128

"Atle Dyregrov has written about children and death with a calm and clear voice"



Explaining death, grief and loss to children and young people can be incredibly challenging especially for grieving parents and carers. Even health professionals, emergency workers, police and teachers working with children find talking about death, grief and loss with kids hard.

This became clear to me when a nurse asked AWCH for information about how to talk to children in her own family about their parent's serious illness. She wanted to talk with and prepare children at their level and in a supportive way. This was a critical time in their lives.

Grief in children: a handbook for adults, is an accessible book for parents, carers, family and professionals. It is for people who want to prepare, care for and support children living through grief, loss or trauma when someone is dying or has died. Circumstances covered vary from anticipated to sudden and traumatic death. 

Children and adolescents at different age levels have different understandings about death and grief. So how do we help children through their grief journey? 

Atle Dyregrov has written about children and death with a calm and clear voice. This is valuable in western culture where people often find it difficult to know how to talk about death. This book gives information about children and how they might think about death based on their age, sex and developmental stage. Useful examples have been drawn from family life experiences. In this second edition, more children's voices are included with children's questions and reactions. There is also more material on traumatic deaths. Atle Dyregrov has listened to what children have said about what is helpful and supportive.

To view contents link to the book, Grief in children: a handbook for adults. The chapter Guidelines for taking care of children’s needs, explores open and direct communication. There is information on death following an illness, making the loss real and giving time for understanding to grow. Children need information, adolescents may want to have websites to look at. 

The section Handling death in a playgroup and at school, is an inevitable situation for teachers and this book will help to do this well. Find help with mental preparation and planning before a death or other critical event occurs. Atle Dyregrov includes information on terminal illness of a child, although the general focus of the book is on sudden death.

This handbook overviews crisis or grief therapy for children and bereavement groups for children, caring for oneself and peer support.

Grief in children, draws on the author’s experience as a clinical psychologist, author and director of the Center for Crisis Psychology in Bergen, Norway.  His extensive experience and research underpins this book, yet the tone is informative and very readable. The case studies bring experience and understanding to the topic. Concerned adults will find a good overview and helpful information for what can be a hard task involving raw emotions.  

For children’s healthcare facilities valuing patient and family centered care, Grief in children will be a good addition to the bookshelf. It is also an accessible reference book for early childhood educators, teachers, school counselors, pastoral carers, libraries and families.

If you found this blog informative you might also like to read our blog G is for Grief and Grandma.

More information

Crisis support

Kidshelpline  Call 1800 55 1800

Hey teachers there's also the Kids helpline @ School program

Lifeline  Call  13 11 14

Resources and links

Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement




Parent and carer information



Do you have a resource that has been helpful? We'd love to hear from you.



Jillian Rattray
AWCH librarian
Email: Jillian@awch.com.au
AWCH Library


Tuesday, 21 March 2017

My friend has Down’s syndrome

My friend has Down’s syndrome*


Written by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos. Illustrated by Marta Fabrega. Lets talk series.  Book house, Brighton, UK, 2012



#Down syndrome, #WDSD17, #notspecialneeds #Child wellbeing, #Healthcare preparation, #Health literacy, #Play, #Recreational activities, #School children, #Social inclusion, #Therapeutic books for children

“Do you have a special friend? I do! Her name is Ella, and she’s my best friend”

"My friend has Down's syndrome" is a bright children's book with colourful illustrations and an upbeat approach. Written essentially for school children about peer friendships. "Do you have a special friend? I do! Her name is Ella, and she's my best friend".

Positive messages surround the setting of children at summer camp with activities and fun. At first there is reluctance to have a new group member, Ella, who has Down syndrome. The camp club leader, Miss Theresa, tells the children about Ella and there are concerns; however with information comes understanding.

The story is told through the eyes of one girl and Ella is her new buddy. The girls play together, learning and sharing and partnering in sports, arts and crafts; also the camp show. Ella teaches her enthusiastic buddy pottery skills. Both girls are unique and have things they love to do as well as strengths.

“Note to parents”, about the book’s purpose is at the back. Acceptance and acknowledgment of children with Down syndrome and eliminating existing barriers with peers is a focus. Another aim is promoting a better understanding of children with Down syndrome. Find information about health problems that may be experienced by some children with Down syndrome, as well as supportive interventions. 

Developing relationships, breaking down barriers and providing opportunities enables children to strive towards being the best they can be.

More information
Visit Down Syndrome Australia to find out more, including links to personal stories and videos to challenge thinking, there's an Easy Read version.


Notes about healthcare 

Child-friendly Information and healthcare 

The book highlights children have information needs, information helps when coping with new situations and the instability of life. Going to hospital or even the doctors can be a disjointed interruption. Finding ways to make healthcare more normal and less stressful is essential.

When it comes to healthcare, children cope better when their information needs are met. For example, if having a procedure such as an x-ray, parents and healthcare professionals read books to children. Healthcare professionals, early childhood educators and teachers can link to factsheets, infographics, online resources such as Apps. 

Is the information child-friendly? One child-friendly App tested on children is Okee in medical imaging. Health literacy is important, what are the information needs of each child and how can he or she be prepared for a doctor’s or dentist visit or hospital? See related blogs Four ways parents can increase their protective role, Keeping kids needs in the picture, H is for healthcare preparation and the Paediatric nurse.



Jillian Rattray
AWCH librarian
E: Jillian@awch.com.au


* please email if you wish to borrow this book. 

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

L is for Link to health information



Searching for health information? 


Here's some tips and tools to evaluate your way through the information jungle and link to better information


Are you looking for health information for your child? Perhaps you are creating a service for children or young people or even finding information on how to involve them? Whatever the reason, finding reliable information is important. The internet can be a "jungle" and searching for online information is often time consuming and confusing. The information age and deluge of data, means it is becoming harder to separate facts from pseudo-facts. Knowledgeable consumers evaluate information to make good decisions for their health and quality counts.

Daintree rainforest, north east Queensland


Families and sharing information

As consumers and healthcare professionals partner in care, health information is shared. Families living with chronic illness, complex health conditions and rare diseases are often experts in their child's condition. Sharing helpful information and professional-consumer communication is the focus of our blog "K is for knowledge + patient".
 

Consumer health information in Australia

Australians search for free, reliable information at HealthDirect (supported by state and Federal governments). The focus is on safe, practical information, including an A-Z of health topics, medicines, symptom checker and service finder. Facts or fiction? has consumer tips on seeking trustworthy online information. Don't want to read... there’s a helpline to speak to a registered nurse, 24/7 and healthdirect app, which is also free. 


Two other resources with "user-friendly" health information are Health information and health products by BetterHealth channel and Raising Children Network.  At Raising Children Network find "My neighbourhood", parents/carers enter their postcode to link to local services and link to intercultural health information.


Evaluating health information - USA

Go to MedlinePlus, (the world’s largest medical library), or view a video tutorial (from USA National Library of Medicine) for more information. See also, Finding and evaluating online resources, 5 quick questions on social media resources (USA National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health).

Do you want to Trust it or Trash it? This quality assessment toolbox was created by Access To Credible Genetics (ATCG) Resource Network. There is also a developer toolbox for creating educational resources. MLA, the Medical Library Association, offers find good health information and top health websites.


Evaluating health information - United Nations and Europe

Health on the Net Foundation (HON), created the HON code, search, tools and topics for reliable information. The code provides a stamp of approval, good websites can approach HON to see if they are up to scratch. Now 20 years old, this NGO is accredited to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Look for the HON code on Australian websites too, Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy.

A useful website? European Commission has a quick checklist for useful websites, with pointers about whether a site is user focused.

Communication between families and health professionals

Access to reliable information should help families and healthcare professionals communicate and make decisions. The ability to ask questions about suggested treatments and procedures is important. Choose Wisely Australia, is an initiative from NPS MedicineWise. Look for 5 questions to ask your doctor.

Questioning quality of  information 

When searching for information, ask questions about information quality and avoid making assumptions. For example, an "expert" author may write about a topic they know well and also about other topics they know less about. Are we likely to rely on both equally, the topic the "expert" knows less about may not be as reliable.  Look beyond, politics, fashion etc. and at strengths and weaknesses of information.

The Knowledgeable patient: communication and participation in health. Edited by Sophie Hill available at AWCH library 613 HIL 1

Infographics

Infographics are now used more often because combining images together with health information can be very powerful. Complex health messages are shared more easily and quickly. Health information is communicated across cultures, age groups and literacy levels.

Organisations and government bodies create infographics, apps and digital technology to promote health information. Reliable information, based on children, young people and family needs, must under-pin any user-friendly format. How can children and young people be involved in creating something that makes sense to them? Investing in Children is one organisation that created films to celebrate their work on child rights and services based on the needs of children and young people.



Linking people + digital information

Whether searching via google scholar, government websites or databases (via libraries or health portals), journeying through the "information jungle" is challenging. Healthcare professionals and consumers link in the lookout for helpful information for healthier lives.

Health literacy
Health literacy refers to the ability individuals and communities have to engage with information and services. Visit the OpHeLia project, Deakin University, for information on health literacy.

Meaningful information is not just something we locate. Useful information is developed when individuals and community are involved and real needs are identified.

The Australian Digital Health Agency has conducted a survey to find out how Australians engage with digital services and access information to improve their health and wellbeing. The National Digital Health Strategy is underway. Emphasis is placed on families and individuals, with the slogan "Your health. Your say." 

Consumer Health Forum highlights the value of health literacy in their submission on the National Digital Health Strategy. People need to find, understand and use health-related information and services, to make good decisions about their health. Find out more in their "response to questions for healthcare consumers, carers and families", p 6.

Join the Australian digital health access conversation!



Jillian Rattray
AWCH librarian
Email: Jillian@awch.com.au
AWCH Library