Children's activity book cover

We knew there was a need for our new resource 'Visiting the Intensive Care Unit' but we have been thrilled at the positive response to it. We launched the book in September 2016 and we have already had 300 orders for over 5500 booklets. It has also received worldwide interest and we have given permission for it to be translated into German and Danish.

The booklet is for children visiting a relative in ICU, and combines information about what they might see with educational activities and colouring. It also suggests ways to help them to understand how they might feel. Each copy comes with a parent and carer information sheet, which has guidance about how to support a child through this difficult experience, and a small pack of colouring pencils. This resource is free to UK hospitals.

But don't just take our word for it that it's good. Here's what those using it have told us:

I used one of your books today that I had been given, with a very frightened little girl whose mummy is very unwell. She loved it - utterly brilliant thank you.

Katie - Hospital Chaplain

I personally have used the book on 2 occasions. The book was of huge comfort to a young sister of a patient. She was having great difficulty coming to terms with what had happened to her older brother. The ICUsteps book for children was used to prepare her for coming into the ICU for the first time. The family were extremely grateful. The young girl enjoyed colouring in and it helped to pass the time whilst she was in the waiting room.

The next occasion I saw the book used was with a family who were very reluctant to bring a patient's daughter onto the unit. The child was having trouble at school and had lost her appetite. They used to ICUsteps book to help her feel more connected to her mother who was an ICU patient. Being able to see what the area looked like where her mother was 'sleeping' helped her greatly.

ICU Nurse

We find the books very beneficial as a good aid for children visiting the ICU around what to expect. We find the pictures are helpful to go through with children to help explain what is going on, also having some things for them to do / focus on such as the 'what I did today' gives the child a bit of 'purpose' which they seem to respond well to. We are very grateful for this resource - thank you.

Nicola Freeman-Fielding, Matron for Critical Care, Bristol Royal Infirmary

The children's booklet, "Visiting the Intensive Care Unit" has been very useful on our large general critical care unit here in Cardiff. Staff have found it useful to be able to offer a resource to parents for their children visiting the unit. The parents have really appreciated a way of helping their children to understand what is happening, especially at a time where words are often hard to find for the parents. The children have benefitted from an age appropriate, insightful, and caring way of helping them to make sense of what is happening. We are so grateful to ICUsteps for continuing to make this resource free and available to all in critical care units.

Dr Julie Highfield, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Cardiff Critical Care

You can place an order for 'Visiting the Intensive Care Unit' through the website.

Place your order