Children with Chronic Kidney Disease: Tips for Parents

New Delhi, March 12 (IANS) Chronic Kidney Disease brings along frequent doctor visits, required change of diet, treatment, lifestyle modification which can be difficult for any patient; if it is a child, it can be all the more gruelling. Having a child diagnosed with chronic kidney disease can be life altering & challenging for parents.
Right from taking care of their diet, making them understand the disease and the subsequent treatment required, parents feel an immense sense of accountability to take care of their child in every and the best possible way. Here are a few tips for parents of a child with chronic kidney disease (CKD), shared by Umesh Khanna, Member Scientific Advisory Board, Medical Director, NephroPlus Mumbai, explain CKD in a fun way, easy for your child to understand.
It is very important for a parent to inform and educate their child about their diagnosis. You may use basic yet fun terms to explain to your child what CKD is & the reason they are undergoing certain tests and treatments. When your child knows what the instruments and machines are used for, it will help in easing their anxiety and will encourage positive participation. Refrain from explain more than your child can understand.
It is imperative that you make your child understand that the doctors, nurses, dialysis technicians, and dietitians all on his or her side and are there to help. They are collectively there to make them feel better and fight the disease, even if that means they have to do things that will cause some temporary pain or discomfort. Motivate your child to ask questions not only of you but of doctors, nurses and other health professionals.
Ensure you child is involved in his or her care as much as possible so that they will gradually develop a sense of responsibility.

1. Assist your child in understanding and accepting diet restrictions

Often, your child will be more compliant with dietary limitations than an adult will. Before meeting the dietitian, ask your child to make a list of their favourite foods. Allow them to talk to the dietitian to see if the foods on their list can be incorporated into the diet plan. Don’t force your child to eat something as this can often turn mealtime into an unpleasant experience.

2. Dealing with Low Self-esteem

CKD not only brings physical distress to your child but can also have a psychological impact. It can make your child feel depressed and powerless. Learning and development issues may also stem from the situation further leading to low self-esteem. One way to help children is to make them feel empowered; give as much control and accountability over their own care as possible by:

*  Making them aware and learn more about their medicines, including doses

*  Encourage your child to take an active part in their treatments while on dialysis

*  Allow them to participate in treatment decision making, while guiding them

3. Indulge in regular physical activities

Sometimes parents may feel protective of their sick child, but they should not try to limit their child’s physical activity unless instructed by a doctor. Indulging in a physical activity will help your child sweat which will get rid of excess fluid and flush out toxins through the skin. This will build confidence and reduce psychological distress.

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