Parent's IV Toolkit

As a parent, seeing your child in a hospital or doctor’s office can be scary. If your child needs an intravenous (IV) line, there is help to take a more active role when it comes to their IV.’s Parents IV Toolkit includes the key questions, talking points, and resources to guide you and your child through having an IV.

Talk to your child’s medical team.

Getting an IV is a routine hospital procedure, but you should always feel comfortable asking your child’s medical team for more information. You may want to ask:

  • Why does my child need an IV?
  • How long will it be needed?
  • What fluids are in the infusion bag, and what do they do?
  • What risks are involved, and how can these risks be minimized?
  • Who should I reach out to if I think something’s gone wrong with the IV?

Check out our How to Talk to Your Health Professional guide for more details.

Before the IV is inserted, prepare your child for what to expect.

Explain the following to your child:

  • What an IV is and why it’s needed
  • How the care team will get your child ready for the IV
  • What your child will feel when the IV line goes in and when it comes out
  • How your child can help the care team complete the procedure safely

Keep an eye out for signs of IV failure.

Know the signs of infiltration and extravasation. Keep an eye out for symptoms like:

  • Pain, puffiness or swelling at the insertion point or the arm
  • Redness of the skin
  • Paleness of the skin

Monitor the IV site.

Medical staff should regularly check on your child’s IV, but it’s also important for you to monitor your child’s IV:

  • Make sure your child doesn’t pull on the IV line when getting up
  • Watch the IV site to make sure it stays visible and dry
  • Look for any changes in appearance at the site
  • Ask if your child feels pain or tingling

IV lines can be an essential part of treatment in your child’s care. Your confidence during the IV experience will help your child stay relaxed and safe.

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