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Care Package Ideas for Parents of Sick Children

by Maggie McCormick, studioD

Taking care of a sick child is never an easy task. A parent may need to miss work, travel long hours to the hospital or find special accommodations closer to the sick child. This takes a toll on the whole family. Preparing a special care package for the parents is a practical way to show you're thinking of them, especially if you live in different towns.


Sometimes, it's all the little things that start to fall by the wayside when parents are dealing with a sick child. If you live nearby, consider preparing a meal that the family can freeze until they need it. Coupon booklets offering help with laundry, house cleaning or babysitting other siblings are also useful. If you're far away, consider purchasing a gift certificate for a company that can provide these services or to the parents' favorite restaurant.

Filling the Time

When a parent has a sick child, she might spend a lot of time just sitting with the child at the hospital or at home, even if the child is sleeping. Create a care package of things she can use to fill this time. For example, you might give a movie she can watch with the child, a book in which she can lose herself, a puzzle book or board games. If she has a tablet or laptop computer, a gift certificate might give her a bit of extra money to spend on an e-book or game. Someone driving long distances between home and the hospital might appreciate an audio book or CD with inspirational music.

Gifts for Other Children

When one child is ill, other children in the family can feel left out as the family focuses on the sick child. Include something special for the siblings. This might be a stuffed animal he can hold at bedtime or a favorite DVD for the car rides. Children's books can help little ones work through their feelings about having a sick sibling. For example, "Oliver's Story" by Mike Dodd tells the story of a sibling with cancer through the eyes of a 6 year old.


Though it seems uncouth at times, money may be what the parents need most -- money to cover the costs of medical care or to cover the costs of lost wages. Your $20 may not seem like a lot, but if you take up a small collection around the office or the neighborhood, you'll soon have a sizable amount. Pair this money with something personal or homemade, such as a photo of the sick child in better times or a batch of freshly made muffins.

About the Author

Maggie McCormick is a freelance writer. She lived in Japan for three years teaching preschool to young children and currently lives in Honolulu with her family. She received a B.A. in women's studies from Wellesley College.

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