A Parent's Role in Safety: Being Involved in Your Child's Care

You know your child best and we want to work with you to give your child the best care. Throughout your child’s treatment at Valley Children’s, we want you to know what to expect, how you can help us help you, and what to do if you have a concern.

When your child is admitted to the hospital, the following information will be provided. You can also download it and bring a copy with you (En Espanol, Hmong). If you have questions, make a list to bring with you when you see your child’s doctor.

How can parents help?

  • Provide a Complete Health History: Parents can help the care team during your child's visit by giving us complete information about your child’s health history, including:
    • General health
    • Food allergies
    • Reactions to medicines
    • Past surgeries
    • Medicines your child is taking
  • Tell Us About Your Concerns: Your child can’t always tell us if they are feeling worse or if something is wrong. You know your child best and you can speak up for your child if you feel your child’s needs are not being met. We will do our best to listen to you and to do something about it.
    • Tell us if…
      • You feel your child is not safe.
      • You are concerned about the care your child is receiving.
      • You are concerned that your child’s personal information is being shared with people who are not part of your child’s care.
      • You notice a change in your child’s condition.
    • Who should you tell?
      • The first person you should talk to is the nurse taking care of your child.
      • You can also talk to the charge nurse or the doctor.
      • If you feel like you are not being heard, you can always talk with one of our patient representatives. They will listen to you and make sure your concerns are heard. The phone number is (559) 353-5425.

Keeping hands clean

Germs live everywhere – on your skin, hair, mouth, clothes, toys, door handles, countertops, etc. Dirty hands can spread germs that cause infections. Clean hands prevent the spread of infections. Hand hygiene is the most important thing you can do to stop germs from spreading.

What do I need to do?

  • You must use soap and water to clean your hands:
    • If you can see that your hands are dirty.
    • When you have touched body fluids.
    • After using the restroom or changing a diaper.

If your hands do not look dirty, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or gel like Purell®. Remember to clean your hands often. Make sure other people clean their hands, too. It is OK to remind us to clean our hands when we come into or go out of your child’s room.

Dedication to Hand Hygiene

Valley Children's is dedicated to preventing the spread of infection by adhering to strict hand hygiene standards and protocols. Learn more about Valley Children's commitment to hand hygiene, and what you can do to help prevent infections, here.

Preventing infections

In addition to cleaning your hands, there are other things you can do to help stop the spread of germs:

  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
  • Anyone who is coughing should wear a mask when around your child.
  • Follow all isolation instructions. The nurse will explain these to you. Isolation instructions will also be posted on your child’s door.
  • You may need to wear gloves, a gown, and/or a mask to keep germs from spreading. This helps protect all of our patients and visitors.

Keeping your child safe

Here are some things we do to help keep your child safe:

  • Identification: ID or identification bracelets or stickers with your child’s name and date of birth should always be on your child. Before we give your child medicine, do a procedure or before surgery we promise to check your child’s ID.
  • Preventing falls: There are many things parents can do to help prevent falls in the hospital:
    • Keep side rails up on the bed or crib.
    • Help your child walk. He may be unsteady from medicines he is taking or because he is not feeling well.
    • Press the call button if you need help getting your child out of bed.
  • Safety with medicines: You will be asked to tell us what kind of medicines your child takes at home. It is important that we get a complete list of all medicines your child takes, even if the medicines are taken once in a while. This includes over-the-counter, prescriptions and herbal medicines. In the hospital, do not give your child medicine from home. We need to keep track of all of the medicines your child is getting. You can help keep your child safe by:
    • Knowing the name of the medicine your child is taking.
    • Knowing why the medicine is needed, how often and how much.
    • Telling the nurse if you think your child is about to get the wrong medicine.
  • When you go home: Your child may need to take new medicines. You will be given a list of ALL of your child's medicines – including new ones. Ask if there is something on the list that you have not heard about. Make sure you know what each medicine is for, how often your child should take it and when to start giving it.

If your child is having surgery or a procedure

Before surgery or a procedure, the doctor will explain what is going to happen to your child. You should know why your child needs to have this surgery or procedure. The doctor will tell you about any risks. You may be asked to sign a consent form. You should have all your questions answered before signing this form.

  • Eating and drinking: You will be told the time your child can not have anything more to eat or drink. We call this “NPO,” which means nothing by mouth. It can hurt your child if there is anything in the stomach right before surgery. To keep your child safe, it is important that you and your child follow the instructions that are given. The surgery or procedure may be canceled or delayed if instructions are not followed.
  • Identification and verification: Your child will have a bracelet or sticker that tells us who they are. We will check this bracelet or sticker often. You may be asked more than once to tell us your child’s name and date of birth. You will be asked to tell us what type of surgery or procedure your child is having. We ask these questions to keep your child safe while he is here.
  • Surgical site marking: The doctor may mark the site on your child’s body where he is having surgery. This will be done in front of you. This is done so that you can see the site is marked correctly. You can help us by making sure that the correct part is marked.
  • Preventing infections: Your child may be washed with a special cloth before surgery. We clean the skin again just before surgery. You will be given information about how to prevent infections after surgery.

Preventing Surgical Site Infections

Surgical site infections are infections that occur after a surgical procedure in the area of the body where the surgery was performed. Valley Children's exceeds standard recommendations for infection prevention and demonstrates ongoing commitment to the safest care for surgical patients. Click here to learn more about how we ensure kids in the Central Valley have the safe care they deserve.