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Send a Get Well Soon Card to a Hospitalized Child

by Abigail Beal and Beth Hering
The Challenge

Sending cards to hospitalized children can help them feel less isolated and lonely. Imagine the smile you can put on the face of a young patient who receives your cheery card, letter, or package. It might be the only highlight in a day otherwise filled with medical procedures, pain, and uncertainty.

A seriously ill child may remain hospitalized for months. Visits from family and friends may become less frequent, particularly when the child is transferred to a specialized hospital far from home. Parents may be torn between maintaining their jobs – which are often needed for medical insurance and to pay uncovered medical bills – and spending time with their sick child.

As a result, children requiring long-term care may get most of their daily human contact during routine treatment from doctors and nurses. While these professionals help with the child's physical pain, they may be hard-pressed to find the added time to deal with the emotional pain of isolation, confusion, and homesickness.

Sending cheery messages to hospitalized children is a wonderful way to brighten their day and make them feel special by knowing someone cares about them. Light-hearted, humorous cards are well-received. If laughter is indeed the best medicine, then your card can be a big help.

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  • Find a Recipient:

     

    There are several organizations who feature eager recipients of Get Well Soon Cards:

    Before sending anything, it is good to read these helpful guidelines for communicating with children receiving long-term hospital care.

  • Carefully Review the Child's Biography:

     

    • Consider the recipient's physical limitations (e.g., do not send musical cards to a deaf child).
    • Discover interests that you might be able to incorporate into your card (e.g., favorite cartoon characters).
  • Select a Card:

     

    Mindful that some chronically ill children may never recover, your card should aim to cheer-up the child without saying "get well soon" directly. Instead, "Thinking of You" and "Friendship" cards convey the spirit of "get well soon" without raising false hope in children who may never get better.

  • Craft Your Message:

     

    Keep your message light and cheerful. Referring to the child's interests will make him or her feel special. Jokes are always fun for children. There are many appropriate children's jokes on Aha Jokes.

    If you don't want to create your own message, you could follow this sample message to enclose in your card:

    Hello (Child's First Name)!

    I just wanted to say hello from [City and State]. I am wishing you a day full of great big smiles and bright blue skies. I would like to share a Knock Knock joke with you:

    Knock Knock
    Who's there?
    Aardvark!
    Aardvark who?
    Aardvark a hundred miles for one of your smiles!

    I hope you thought this was funny; I sure did!

    Have a super day!
    Sincerely yours,
    [First Name Last Name]

  • Send Your Card Via USPS Postal Mail:

     

    The card will often go to a P.O. box or other designated receiving site, not the child’s actual home.

Note: Most families will not respond to your card. While they appreciate your good wishes, most families are simply too busy to respond. Always include your contact information, however, when sending a card so that the child's family knows from whom the card was sent.

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