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how children are affected by ill health

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Introduction

Child Health- Task 3 Jodie Bloomer P5. Describe the aspects of children's development, learning and behaviour that may be affected by ill health and the potential effects on the family M3. Justify proposals for ways of minimising the effects of ill health on children and their families How children's development may be affected by ill health: * They may be physically too weak to join in with certain activities; their illness may restrict them from doing so. "Epilepsy, for example, can mean a child is not allowed to play on or use some equipment." (Tassoni, P. et Al. 2002. p.350). However it is necessary to provide activities that the child can do so that they are not left out. An example of this is to do smaller scale versions of an activity that the other children are doing, for instance, messy play on a tray on the table so that a child in a wheelchair can sit at it, rather than on the floor. * Their social skills could be affected- "An ill child may be less interested in interacting with others." (Green, S. 2006. p.447). One of the ways of minimising this effect is by interacting with the child and ensuring that they interact with other children throughout the day. This will boost their confidence and encourage them to engage with others more freely. * They may regress- for example a child of 8 years who is ill may start to wet the bed again as a result of uncertainty and fear about their illness. It is necessary to comfort children and to talk to them, as they "need a great deal of emotional support during periods of illness." (Green, S. 2006. p.448). Penny Tassoni also states that it is important to recognise regression "and provide reassurance, routine and extra attention." (Tassoni, P. 2006. p.355). * Their diet may be affected due to a lack of nutrients while they are ill. ...read more.

Middle

* They may feel they are different to other children, which could cause them to act differently- it may help the child if they met other children with the same illness as them, to let them know they are not alone, and are not the only person that this has happened to. It is also best to explain to the child about their illness, or about any treatment they need so that they have a good understanding of why it is necessary. Sandy Green states "children are more likely to be able to cope with whatever treatment or investigation they need if they have some idea of what to expect." (Green, S. 2006. p.446). Also Penny Tassoni states, "if there are other children...who have a similar illness, the children will be able to support each other." (Tassoni, P. et Al. 2002. p.356). How a child's illness affects the family: * The family's normal routine may be disrupted due to doctor and hospital visits, or special assessments, etc. This could mean that siblings have to stay with other family members, or go to a friend's house or after school club due to parents being unable to collect them. One way of minimising this is by allowing siblings to be involved if they wish to be in hospital visits, etc, or by setting aside time when the family do something all together to make up for lack of routine. This means they will need to adapt their routine in order to still make time for everyone. Penny Tassoni states, "illnesses may cause the family to make adaptations to many aspects of their lives to meet the needs of the child and other family members." (Tassoni, P. 2006. p.357). * Siblings may feel neglected and unloved due to a lack of attention from parents. To minimise this parents need to ensure they spend time with these child independently so that they receive some of the support and attention that they need. ...read more.

Conclusion

They provide both financial and practical help." (Tassoni, P. 2006. p.357) (Green, S. 2006. p.449). * The parents may become stressed which result in arguments, and in extreme cases could could lead to divorce. To minimise this they need to try and remain calm and patient with each other, and talk to a professional about their concerns as if the parents' divorce it could cause further problems for the children in the family, not least the ill child, as they will feel it is their fault. * Parents may suffer from blame as they may feel the illness is their fault, for example if they didn't get their child immunised or if it is a hereditary condition. It is necessary to talk to parents in this situation and reassure them that they are not to blame. Regarding the parents of a child with cancer it is known that "most parents ask themselves if they could have prevented the cancer from happening. Reassure parents that there is no evidence to suggest this is the case." (Bruce, T. et Al. 2007. p.448). * "Siblings may become attention seeking or develop behaviour problems and they therefore need time spent with them by themselves." (Tassoni, P. 2006. p.357). In this situation the siblings need their parents to spend time with them, and them alone. They need to feel loved as they are behaving this way to gain attention, as they don't feel they are getting enough. Penny Tassoni states, "they need someone to spend time with them away from the unwell child, and to reassure them that they are still loved." (Tassoni. P. et Al. 2002. p.353). * Siblings may feel that they have to grow up to soon by having to deal with what is happening around them, or because they also have to care for their sibling. In this situation it is necessary to allow the sibling time to escape and allow them to have time for themselves. There are organisations that run camps and respite care for siblings and child carers to allow them to enjoy time being a child themselves. ...read more.

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