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Pediatric Home Care

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Whether a newborn needs follow-up visits after going home from the hospital or parents require specialized care for a sick child or young adult, pediatric home care can be a huge help to both parent and child. This level of care can make sure a child’s health continues to improve and can help teach parents how to care for their special child on a daily basis. This will prepare them for the time when their home care ends.

What is pediatric home care?

Pediatric home care providers are the right people in the right place with the best resources possible so children with special needs (and their families) will have the best possible outcomes. Pediatric home care covers a wide variety of services. These are based on each child’s specific need determined by specialized clinicians. Different types of pediatric care can include:

Newborn visits and weight checks: The weight of a newborn is a key indicator of a baby’s overall health. Most babies who are born full term (between 38 and 40 weeks) weigh between six to nine pounds at birth. Newborns will normally lose some weight the first week after delivery. A five percent weight loss is normal for a formula-fed newborn. If the baby is breastfeeding, a seven to 10 percent loss is normal. After the initial weight loss, newborns should gain approximately five to seven ounces per week for the first few months. Many babies will have doubled their birth weight by the first three or four months of life. Newborn visits and weight checks can help make sure a baby is growing as expected and quickly identify any potential issues as the baby grows.

Nursing care for ventilator-dependent children: Care for children that require a ventilator face a unique set of challenges. Nursing care for ventilator-dependent children allows these children and their parents to be comfortable at home while receiving the treatment they need. It also allows the family to communicate with the on-duty nurse on a daily basis to make sure they understand the needs of the child and how to provide care when a nurse is not present.

Tracheostomy care: Children that require tracheostomy care can benefit from specialized nursing assistance at home and prevent further complications and emergencies. The home care nurses will be skilled in respiratory assessment, regular tracheostomy management, and the ability to respond to any emergencies that arise. Tracheostomies in children require different techniques for tasks, such as suctioning due to their small size. This is why a nurse that specializes in pediatric home care is important as they will know exactly how to care for the child with the least amount of discomfort to the child while educating parents on proper care.

Premature infant care: When an infant is born prematurely, they can face a host of different health issues. It can also be quite stressful for the parents. They want to make sure everything possible is done so their child can grow to live a healthy life. Pediatric Home Health providers can assist with home care for medically fragile children from 0 – 20 years of age. Additionally, depending on the needs of the child, pediatric home care providers can assist as few as 2 hours a day, or provide around the clock care.

Diabetic instruction and management: A diagnosis of diabetes requires a high level of education that can include dietary needs, how to check blood sugar, and how to identify other health issues associated with diabetes. This can all be very scary for a child and worrisome for parents. A highly educated medical professional that visits the home can help the child understand their diagnosis and teach them how to manage their needs on a daily basis. When a medical professional visits the home, they can review the child’s daily diet, answer any questions from both parent and child about changes that need to be made, and explain how to best manage this new diagnosis so the child can live a healthy and normal life.

Conclusion

Caring for children with special health needs at home, where the child and parent are most comfortable, is very important. Additional care and lifestyle guidance from specialized home healthcare providers will help both the child and the family adapt to medical challenges so the child can thrive and enjoy their life.

Staff Writer, Megan Zabransky, RN