Frequently Asked Questions About Care For Your Child With Cancer At Home

Frequently Asked Questions About Care For Your Child With Cancer At Home

Answers to some frequently asked questions about caring for your child with cancer at home. 


What do I do about nose bleeds, mouth or gum bleeds?

See Low platelet count due to chemotherapy.

What about pets and other animals?

Everyone should wash their hands after touching pets or other animals. See Hygiene and hand washing.

If your child has had a bone marrow transplant, speak to your doctor first before allowing them to touch pets or other animals.

How do I look after my child's teeth?

See the information about mouth care in Sore mouth due to chemotherapy.

Do I have to do anything extra about personal and household hygiene?

Check the pages Low white cell count and infection and Hygiene and hand washing.

What about returning to school?

Check Childhood cancer and education.

What if someone in the house has a cold?

Anyone with a cold should use tissues for nose blowing and sneezing and throw them into the rubbish bin.

They need to wash their hands after nose-blowing and sneezing.

Can my child do physical activities?

Some children need to avoid some sports and games. This includes some children having chemotherapy because of the chance they may be hurt by falling or knocking into someone or something. An injury can have serious consequences like bleeding, infection or damage to the central venous catheter. Talk with your child's doctor about what physical activity is OK for your child.

You might like to keep a record of:

  • a list of the physical activities (games and sports) which your child should not play
  • a list of the physical activities (games and sports) which are safe for your child to play

Read more about going home from hospital

Read more about childhood cancer


All the pages in the childhood cancer section of this website have been written by health professionals who work in the field of paediatric oncology. They have been reviewed by the members of the National Child Cancer Network (NZ). Medical information is authorised by the clinical leader of the National Child Cancer Network.

This page last reviewed 24 June 2021.

Call Healthline on 0800 611 116 any time of the day or night for free health advice when you need it