5 Hospitalized Child Nursing Care Plans


Whether it is a brief hospital admission, a follow-up check-up, surgery, or recurrent hospitalizations due to chronic illness, a child who is hospitalized creates a crisis within the family. Child’s responses to hospitalization are associated to the developmental level but usually include fear of separation, loss of control, injury, and pain.

The smoothness of transition from home to the hospital relies on how well the child has been prepared for it and how the child’s physical and emotional needs have been satisfied. Providing support to the family, supplying them with information, and empowering their participation in the child’s care adds to the adjustment and well-being of all concerned.

Nursing Care Plans

The major nursing care plan goals for a child who is hospitalized include increased ability to perform self-care activities, relief of anxiety, and an increased sense of power of family in making decisions and absence of injury.

Here are five (5) nursing care plans (NCP) and nursing diagnosis (NDx) for hospitalized child:

  1. Self-Care Deficit
  2. Deficient Diversional Activity
  3. Anxiety
  4. Powerlessness
  5. Risk for Trauma

Risk for Trauma

Nursing Diagnosis

  • Risk for Trauma

May be related to

  • Developmental age
  • Insufficient knowledge and cognitive immaturity putting the child to risk to safety hazards in the environment

Possibly evidenced by

  • Developmental age
  • Developmental delays
  • Disturbances in gait, vision, hearing, perceptual or cognitive functioning

Desired Outcomes

  • Child will participate in appropriate play without injury.
  • Parent will verbalize safety considerations related to toys/games.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
Assess age of child and rationale for
choose type and article of play, and intended purpose of play.
Provides information needed to select appropriate toy or activity for play based on age: infants grasp and hold articles and stuffed toys; young child plays with replicas of adult tools and other toys, plays pretend, and later moves from toys to games, hobbies, sports; older child continues with games and sports and begins to daydream; play provides fun, diversion, and learning about procedures for the child who is hospitalized.
Encourage play and allow parents to bring favorite toy, game or other play materials from home.Promotes learning and skill development, and facilitates expression of feelings.
Encourage the child to communicate the desired type of toy and to help in the choice of toys and play activities.Facilitates independence and control over play situation.
Select safe toys appropriate for age and number of activity allowed and that goes well with the child’s skills and interest.Provides guidelines for quiet play or play that involves motor activity.
Plan and execute an age-appropriate play activity to prepare the child for all invasive procedures, to observe child’s behavior, or to allow child to express fears and concerns with or without someone in attendance.Promotes therapeutic play with a selection of toys and articles that include dolls or puppets (nurse, doctor, child, family members); hospital supplies (syringe, dressings, tape, tubes); paper,  crayons, and paints; stuffed toys, toy telephone; prepares the child emotionally and cognitively for invasive procedures; nurtures appropriate coping strategies.
Eliminate all dangerous, sharp, broken toys, toys with small parts that can be swallowed, toys inappropriate for
Avoids trauma or injury to the child.
Educate parents to choose toys, play
equipment, and supplies appropriate for an age group; nontoxic and flame resistant with directions for use; that are durable and do not have sharp edges or points; that do not have small parts that can be swallowed; that do not
contain any parts to be removed; and that are not broken, rusted, or weak and need repairs.
Promotes safe play for the child.
Educate parents in separating play materials meant for older children and young child so to provide a safe place for toys, to discard or repair broken toys.Avoids accidents caused by toys in pathways or by toys intended for older,  more mature play.
Educate parents in choosing play activity based on child’s energy and tolerance level during an illness, and in assessing toys given as gifts to the child.Provides the enjoyment of active or passive play that is geared to child’s condition.


Recommended Resources

Recommended nursing diagnosis and nursing care plan books and resources.

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See also

Other recommended site resources for this nursing care plan:

Other nursing care plans for pediatric conditions and diseases:

Paul Martin is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2007. Having worked as a medical-surgical nurse for five years, he handled different kinds of patients and learned how to provide individualized care to them. Now, his experiences working in the hospital is carried over to his writings to help aspiring students achieve their goals. He is currently working as a nursing instructor and have a particular interest in nursing management, emergency care, critical care, infection control, and public health. As a writer at Nurseslabs, his goal is to impart his clinical knowledge and skills to students and nurses helping them become the best version of themselves and ultimately make an impact in uplifting the nursing profession.