Here are general health instructions for caring for a child with cancer.

Check with your child's hematologist / oncologist before you take your child to the dentist. 

  • No medication should be given to your child unless it has been approved by the oncology care team.
  • Do not continue your child's immunization program (baby shots) until your child's oncologist says you may.
  • Ask whether your child should be in a household with a child who has received a live vaccine (varicella or MMR, measles-mumps-rubella) in the last 30 days.
  • When your child's blood count (ANC) is low, avoid crowds or people who have active infections. Your child's care team will let you know when you need to take extra precautions to protect your child from infection.
  • Take your child's temperature only when he / she seems sick, or unless otherwise instructed. Take the temperature by mouth or under the arm. Do not take rectal temperatures.
  • Do not let your child drink hot or cold liquids before taking your child's temperature.
  • If your child has been exposed to someone with chickenpox or shingles, immediately notify your child's doctor. (People with chickenpox are contagious for one to two days before the rash appears.)
  • A single temperature greater than 101.4°F, or two temperatures greater than 100.4 °F in a 12-hour period. Note: if your child has one temperature greater than 100.4°F, you will need to watch closely for any changes and continue to monitor the temperature at least every hour.
  • A persistent cough that lasts more than one or two days.
  • Bleeding from the nose or from a cut or injury that you cannot stop.
  • Blood in your child's vomit, urine or stool.

Last Updated 12/2013