All Radiation Sites

Side EffectWhat You Can Do
Tiredness/Fatigue Make sure your child gets extra sleep and rest.

Redness, Blistering
of Skin
Leave the irritated skin open to the air;
Clean your child’s skin as directed;
Use ointments only if the doctors approve;
Keep your child out of the sun as much as possible.
Hair loss (occurs only in
the area being treated)
Your child’s hair should grow back within weeks to 3 months after treatment ends, but some areas receiving higher doses may not grow back;
Use a mild shampoo;
Cut your child’s hair short;
Avoid hair dryers and electric curlers;
Protect your child’s scalp from cold and sun;
Use a wide-tooth comb;
If you plan to have your child wear a wig, select it before all your child’s hair comes out;
If you want to cover your child’s head, try different hats and scarves; Ask your child’s doctor for medicine

Head & Neck Radiation Sites

Side Effect What You Can Do
Sore Mouth Consult your child’s doctor for medicine for your child’s mouth; this could include sprays, special mouthwashes, and medicated sweets;
Give your child a sponge toothbrush or a cotton cloth to clean his or her teeth;
Let your child rinse his or her mouth every 2-3 hours and after meals using plain water or a paste of baking soda and water;
Avoid mouthwashes that have a high alcohol content, which may irritate mouth sores;
Avoid giving your child very hot, cold, spicy, or acidic foods; Serve soft foods;
Contact your doctor if your child has mouth sores, painful areas, or patches of red or white in their mouth.

Dry Mouth
Let your child drink plenty of water;
Let your child suck on hard sugar-free sweets or ice lollies, or chew sugar-free gum; Let your child rinse with a mouthwash recommended by the doctor;
Serve foods with sauces, gravies, and salad dressings to make them moist and easier to swallow;
Make sure that your child drinks liquids with meals.

Stomach & Abdomen Radiation Sites

Side Effect What You Can Do
Nausea and Vomiting – Ask your child’s doctor about medicines to control nausea and vomiting and/or sedatives to help your child sleep through the nausea;
Feed your child light foods 3-4 hours before treatment; Encourage your child to eat small amounts of food often and slowly;
Avoid serving sweet, greasy, and spicy foods and foods with strong odours;
Serve your child cold meals, such as sandwiches, instead of hot foods;
Encourage your child to take liquids first, and then wait 30-60 minutes before eating solids. Most children tolerate liquids better than solids;
Have your child rest after meals;
If your child is vomiting, do not give anything to eat or drink until it is under control. Once the vomiting is under control, give small amounts of clear liquids (for example, water, broth, milk-free ices, and gelatin desserts).
Begin with 1 teaspoon every 10 minutes; gradually increase the amount to 1 tablespoon every 20 minutes; and finally, try 2 tablespoonfuls every 30 minutes;

When your child can keep down clear liquids, try denser liquids (for example, strained cereal, pudding, yogurt, milkshakes, cream soups). Give small amounts as often as your child can keep them down.
Gradually work up to solid foods.

Contact your doctor if your child’s diarrhoea is severe, that is, more than three loose stools per day;
Avoid giving your child apple juice;
Avoid giving your child fatty foods;
Try foods high in proteins and calories but low in fibre, such as plain or vanilla yoghurt, rice with broth, or noodles;
Serve your child foods and liquids high in sodium and potassium.
Foods high in potassium that do not cause diarrhoea are bananas, peach and apricot juices, and boiled or mashed potatoes;
Make sure your child drinks plenty of liquids.