Going Home

Patient Discharge

When your child’s treatment is complete, he will be discharged from the hospital. We know you are eager to get home. We will try to speed along the discharge process. We want to make sure that all paperwork is taken care of and that going home is an easy adjustment for you and your child. Be sure to confirm your child’s discharge day with your child’s doctor before telling your child he is going home. Otherwise, if discharge is delayed for any reason, your child could be disappointed.

Before your child is discharged, his doctor will tell you how to care for him and when he wants to see your child again. The nurse will also give you home care instructions. Some things you may want to discuss with the doctor include:

  • What is my child’s current medicine list?
  • Do I need any information for newly prescribed medicines?
  • Are there any foods my child should not eat while taking the medicine?
  • Can the medicine be chewed, mixed, crushed, etc.?
  • How should medicine be prepared and stored?
  • When can my child return to school or childcare?
  • Can my child take part in sports or physical activities?

Be sure to arrange transportation home for you and your child. Also remember to bring clothes for your child to wear home, as well as a suitcase or shopping bag for other items. Each unit manages discharge differently. Please ask your child’s nurse how to check out of the hospital.

Car Seat Safety

Make sure that your child’s car or booster seat is at the hospital when it is time to go home. Georgia law requires all children younger than 6 years of age to be correctly buckled into a car seat or booster seat in the backseat of a car, van or truck. Georgia’s law is only a minimum standard.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children older than age 6 are safest using a booster seat until the seat belt fits correctly, usually around the time they are 4 feet 9 inches, around 80 pounds and between ages 8 and 12. It is safest for children younger than age 13 to ride in the back seat of the car. All children younger than age 18 are required to buckle up.

The goal of the Children’s Child Passenger Safety Education program is that as every child who leaves our facilities is properly fitted in an age-appropriate car seat. Please page a safety technician at 404-225-2072 to find out more about car seat safety. Technicians are available 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. Visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at www.nhtsa.gov or www.choa.org/carseat for more information about car seat safety.

Going Back to School

Children’s Case Managers can help school-age children (5 to 18 years) and their families with school re-entry needs.

Home Healthcare Agencies

Your child may require continued care at home. Federal law HR 2543 requires that hospitals inform patients and families of home health agencies that may be available to offer home health services for your child. A case manager will help you in planning your child’s care at home and finding out which home health agencies are included in your medical coverage.

Caring for Your Child at Home

After being in the hospital, children may act differently than they normally do. You may see changes in eating, sleeping or playing. To help:

  • Get your child back to his normal routine quickly, and give him tasks he can manage.
  • Do not make your child the center of attention because of his illness.
  • Be kind, firm and consistent with your child, even with discipline—this lets your child know he is back in his normal situation.
  • Be honest with your child so he will keep his trust in you.
  • Let your child talk about his feelings, his illness and his hospital stay.
  • Let your child act out his feelings through play.
  • Do not leave a young child alone for long periods of time or overnight until he has adjusted to being home.
  • Call the Children’s Child Life department at 404-785-6337 if you have any questions.

Giving Medicine at Home

Your child’s doctor may give you a prescription for medicine that will need to be filled at a drugstore. Some things to remember when giving medicine or treatments at home:

  • Re-read the label on the medicine bottle when preparing each dose.
  • Get your medicine at the same drugstore, so the pharmacist knows your child’s history.
  • Give the medicine to your child exactly as prescribed.
  • If your child is not getting better, call your child’s doctor.

Ask your pharmacist to double-check refills if they do not look the same as the medicine you got the last time. Also ask the pharmacists to tell you:

  • About your child’s medicine label
  • The best way to measure liquids and powders
  • The medicine’s side effects