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What is Pediatric Home Care?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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Pediatric home care is home health care for children with medical or personal needs related to illness and disability. Patients may have varying care needs, ranging from a child who needs an hour of services a day to provide respite for parents, to children who require full-time nursing services. Care providers in this field can include nurses, medical technicians, physician assistants, and individuals with basic medical training but no formal certifications. They may work through a hospital or agency.

At the more basic end of the scale, pediatric home care involves helping children complete activities like bathing, dressing, using the toilet, and eating. Low skill levels are required for these services, although care providers need to be able to comfortably lift and support their patients. They also receive training in topics like wheelchair transfers, assisting people in the bathroom, and similar tasks. This type of care is often provided on a respite basis, on the assumption that family members offer it under normal circumstances, but may need a break sometimes.

More advanced pediatric home care can include administering medications, assisting children with physical therapy activities, and monitoring responses to treatment. Some pediatric patients need advanced home health care like dressing changes, respiratory therapy, assistance with feeding tubes, and so forth. These services require nursing skills and certifications for patient safety. Family members may be able to provide them with training, or they can turn to a pediatric home care provider for assistance.

Some pediatric patients just need temporary assistance. Children recovering from surgery, severe illnesses, and injuries may require home care while they transition and get used to being out of the hospital. As they develop more independence, the level of care they need will decline. Other children need care in the long term because of chronic or terminal illnesses and disabilities. In these cases, respite care can be a significant concern, as family members are at risk of burnout if they are unable to take breaks, and this could leave children vulnerable to neglect or abuse.

Working as a pediatric home care provider can require certifications, references, and successful completion of background checks, depending on the position and agency. Care providers with more certifications make more money and may have an opportunity to interact with a variety of patients who need their services. In some cases, there may be opportunities for travel with patients who want to leave the area on trips and remain with their familiar care providers.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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