We encourage you to help in the daily care of your child. For example you can help with changing a nappy or washing your child.
Not many children in the PICU can have baths or showers. Nurses will give your child a wash in their bed every day. You are welcome to help wash your child. Occupational therapists will help your child find easy ways of doing everyday activities.
Toddlers and older children in PICU may not be able to get to the toilet. A tube will be placed in their bladder to help them pass urine. This tube is called a urinary catheter. Children often need to wear a nappy while they are in PICU.
It is important that your child keeps moving as this will help them recover. A physiotherapist will visit and discuss exercises your child can do. The physiotherapists will help tailor exercises for your child. Even if your child is in bed they may be able to do some small exercises. You may be able to cuddle your child and help support them to do the exercises.
You are encouraged to be involved. As soon as they are able, your child will be helped to sit out of bed or even go for a walk. The nursing staff and physiotherapists will be there to guide your child's exercise programme.
This topic was reviewed by a paediatric intensive care medicine specialist in August 2022.