Explaining medical treatment to children
When a child needs medical treatment of any kind, it is important that things are explained in a way that they can understand.
Our publications are designed to provide a simple explanation about different medical procedures and devices for you and your child.
They have been written by medics and peer reviewed by experts.
This publication is intended to supplement the advice given by your child’s medical team.
Tips on how to explain things to children
- Use simple language.
- Try not to avoid the words: cancer, tumour, chemotherapy etc. These are all words that children will hear during their treatment, so it is important to explain things with the words they are likely to hear.
- Try to answer their questions as openly and honestly as possible.
- If you do not know the answer to a question, it is much better to say you don’t know but that you will try to find out.
- Younger children often focus on how their immediate routine may be affected rather than things that may happen in the future. For example, they may ask can if they still have their bedtime story.
- Reassure them that nothing they did caused the cancer and that there will always be someone there to look after them.
I need an NG Tube: A children's guide to having a nasogastric tube
I need a G -Tube: A children's guide to having a gastrostomy tube or button.
I need a Central Line: A children's guide to having a Hickman line.
I need a Port: A children's guide to having a vascular access port.
When I Feel Sore: A guide for children who are experiencing pain.
My friend has cancer: A children's guide for when a friend is diagnosed with cancer
If your child has sadly had to face the death of a sibling, then this booklet is designed to help you talk with your child about what has happened.
It offers support in a simple that can help children as they adjust to life without their sibling.
It can also be used as a basis to encourage discussion and to raise any questions they may have. It may also help them to voice their feelings.
- My brother has died: a children's guide following the death of a brother.
- My sister has died: A children's guide following the death of a sister.
- My friend has died: A children's guide following the death of a friend.
Content reviewed June 2021