There are things we learned along the way of when our kids hospitalized 14 times for asthma (mostly thanks to pneumonia, sometimes it was the smoke from forest fires)
I'll share a few of the things we learned. Keep in mind that every hospital and every nurse are different. So, these may not be helpful to you OR you may find other things that help your kids.
1. A Bubble Humidifer. The picture above is an "oxygen bubble humidifier." In hospitals, instead of using an oxygen tank, the oxygen comes out of the wall (there is some sort of system behind the wall......I don't know the science of how it works.) But the important thing to remember if your child is on oxygen is to have a bubble! The bubble is filled with water and adds a little moisture to the oxygen so your child's nose doesn't dry out and bleed. We had that happen - A LOT! It's not fun :(
2. Bring things from home. If there are things that help your kids feel better, bring them to the hospital. Our kids always had a favorite blanket and stuffed animal. BUT - we had to make sure we told the nurse on each shift that it was from home. Otherwise, blankie may end up in the laundry facility with the rest of the hospital sheets and you might not be able to find it again. We also brought a small CD player and would play our kid's favorite CD's that they listened to at night to get them to go to sleep.
3. Bring things for yourself. Since I didn't ever leave my child's bedside, I brought a bag with slippers, toothpaste and toothbrush, gum, snacks, a water bottle and magazines or a book to read. (Our nurses would also give us a toothbrush, toothpaste and comb if we forget to pack them.)
4. Bring favorite DVD's. Once again - make sure they are marked with your name on them. In our Pediatrics ward, we can check out DVD's for the kids to watch. But, my kids always had their favorites. In fact, Little Mermaid helped my daughter through more than one hospitalization! When we went to Disneyland, we stood in line to get a picture with Ariel. I told Ariel that my daughter watched our Little Mermaid DVD over and over again when she was in the hospital for asthma. Ariel said, "You are just like me! You must be half mermaid! I can't breathe very well when I'm on dry land either!" I love you Ariel!! My daughter thought it was SO COOL that Ariel had a hard time breathing sometimes too!! I don't think Ariel had ANY idea how much that meant to us!
5. Ask for help I usually had one kid in the hospital and two more at home. So hubby and I would play "tag team." We would switch off who stayed at the hospital and who stayed at home with the other kids. When people ask how they can help - tell them!! Is there anyway you can pick up Son #1 from school today? Another neighbor would take my sons to scouts. Another would drive preschool carpool. Another brought warm chocolate chip cookies to the hospital. Mmmmm
Remember, just because your child is admitted to the hospital doesn't mean it is smooth sailing. We would have one step forward and two steps back. One of the kids would be doing well, then suddenly take a turn for the worse and the doctor would order the nurse to increase their oxygen, start a new antibiotic, change when they got their breathing treatments, etc. There were always good and bad days. Just know that it does get better!!