Dear Addy_SleepoverDear Addy,

We recently moved and Joshua, my 8 year old son with severe hemophilia, has made a new friend who has invited him over to a sleepover. I鈥檇 like to explain to the other boy鈥檚 parents about Joshua鈥檚 hemophilia, but I don鈥檛 want to freak them out either. How should I start that conversation?


New to the Neighborhood

Dear New,

Making new friends can be a challenge, but it鈥檚 great to hear that Joshua has found a pal. Choosing with whom to disclose your child鈥檚 bleeding disorder is a personal decision that you and your son should discuss. If, after opening a dialogue, you are both ready to share his diagnosis, there are many ways to communicate this with his friends鈥 guardians.

One way advocate about your son鈥檚 hemophilia is to invite his friend and his friend鈥檚 parents to a playdate before the sleepover. While the boys play, explain to the other parents about Joshua鈥檚 disorder.

To facilitate this conversation, use HFA鈥檚 My Bleeding Disorder worksheet. This customizable document provides the basics about bleeding disorders and is tailored to your child鈥檚 care.

It may also help the other parents to see your son play with their child. By showing just how active he can be while you explain all of this, it can help these parents鈥攚ho might be overwhelmed with this information鈥攕ee just how 鈥渘ormal鈥 your son can be.

If they still are comfortable hosting your son, it will be necessary to send him with two overnight bags. One standard鈥攕leeping bag, toothbrush, PJs, and more鈥攁nd a medical kit to help with his care. What鈥檚 in this med kit will vary based on yours and you son鈥檚 comfort level, as well as whether or not he is self-infusing. Some parents choose to pack a dose of factor no matter what; other forego the dose if they鈥檒l be only a few miles away. It might not be a bad idea, though, to include a copy of a medical consent form, just in case another adult has to seek medical care for your child.

What about you? Is there something you can鈥檛 skip in your child鈥檚 sleepover kit? Share it in the comments below!



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