How to Cope When Your Child Has a Serious Illness

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare: their child has a major illness that necessitates hospital visits, diagnostic tests, and special treatment. It can feel like the end of the world, especially if you need to balance the needs of other children and loved ones, but don’t despair: there are resources available, and finding tactful ways to cope can make all the difference not just for your child, but for you and your family.

Be Your Child’s Advocate

We all believe that doctors know best, but medical errors do happen: perhaps the attendant was stressed out and juggling multiple other cases while trying to provide the best possible care for your child. It’s important that you familiarize yourself with your child’s condition in order to better understand what’s happening and be able to catch any errors that may occur before they lead to serious complications for your little one.

In this instance, it’s best to seek out trusted, reliable resources on your child’s illness, such as articles from reputable agencies like Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, or Harvard Medical Center. One of the best resources is PubMed, which is a free database from the National Library of Medicine of over 35 million abstracts from medical journals.

Tend to Your Own Mental Health

As parents, we tend to put everyone above ourselves, and this goes into overdrive when our children are sick. However, you can’t pour from an empty cup: you need to care for yourself as well. Self-care is crucial for parents at all times, but it becomes especially essential should you be dealing with a major life stressor like a sick child.

Commit to taking at least ten minutes out of the day to just focus on yourself, though half an hour is even better. It might feel excessive or even self-indulgent, but you should consider this a vital way to care for your sick child and the rest of your family unit: by taking care of yourself. You can spend this time doing anything you like, but it should be exclusively for you, not tending to anyone else. No folding laundry, no washing the dishes, no laying out your kid’s clothes for the next day, just tending to your own needs and doing something you enjoy.

Find Community

Dealing with illness in your child can be incredibly isolating, as it may feel like no one else understands what you’re going through; this is especially true if it’s a long, protracted illness or one that few people are familiar with. That’s why it’s essential that you network with other parents who can appreciate your struggles and lend a shoulder to cry on when you need it most.

Support groups can provide you with much-needed practical advice which nurses and doctors may not be able to provide, including managing the stress and sorrow of caring for an ill child. They’ll also be there to cheer on your successes, console you during setbacks, and offer much-needed social interaction that is empathetic and understanding.

If your child is in the hospital, ask a nurse or staff member about support groups for parents of sick children; you can also find them online should your area hospital not have any available or if you can’t commit to their scheduled meetings.

Seek Legal Counsel if Necessary

Though sometimes a child falls ill through no fault of anyone, it’s often the case that they fall ill due to accidents, malpractice, or even product liability. In this instance, it’s essential that you reach out to legal professionals who can assist you in determining who may be at fault and receiving compensation to pay for your child’s medical bills.

For example, if your premature newborn was diagnosed with necrotizing enterocolitis after being fed cow’s milk formula, it’s possible that the manufacturers may be to blame for not warning parents of preemies not to feed them this type of formula. You should then reach out to a NEC baby formula lawsuit specialist who can guide you through the legal system and determine if you have grounds for a lawsuit.

Many of us are leery of opening litigation, especially when already dealing with the stress of a child’s illness, but it can be a vital way to receive both justice and the financial support necessary to manage the large medical bills associated with extended hospital stays.


Nothing is more painful than dealing with a child’s prolonged illness: you feel helpless, scared, frustrated, and overwhelmed. However, there can be great power in taking charge of the situation and advocating for your child, as well as caring for yourself. In times of stress, it’s important to reach out to others and know that no matter how rare your little one’s issue may be, you’re never alone in the struggle.

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Shashank Jain

Shashank Jain, founder of good-name, a young and energetic entrepreneur has always been fond of technology. His liking for technology made him go for engineering in computers. During his studies, he learned & worked on different computer languages & OS including HBCD, Linux, etc. He also has a keen interest in ethical hacking.

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