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Use of restraints

Example of soft, foam restraints with ties

Example of soft, foam restraints with ties

St. Jude staff members work to give your child comfort, security, and safety in the least restrictive ways possible. There may be a time when we need to limit your child’s movement to prevent them from self-harm or from hurting others.

What are restraints?

Restraints are devices that limit or restrict movement. We only use them when other ways to keep your child safe do not work.

Usually, they are soft, foam retraints that tie to the bed. They are tied in a way that keeps your child from removing them, but that lets staff remove them easily when needed.

Below are some things that your nurse will do while restraints are used:

  • Check your child’s vital signs and circulation (blood flow)
  • Check your child’s physical and mental status
  • Make sure your child gets the food and fluids they need
  • Do range-of-motion exercises for each arm and leg
  • Give your child plenty of bathroom breaks
  • Watch for signs of injury that could be related to the restraint
  • Monitor your child closely to make sure they are safe

Other ways we keep your child safe

Your child’s safety is our biggest concern. Sometimes illness, injury, or medicines can cause a child to be confused. If your child is in danger of self-harm or of hurting others, there are things we can do to help keep them safe.

These are some things that we might try before using restraints:

  • Move objects away from the bedside
  • Turn on lights or turn off lights
  • Sit with your child or ask family members if they can sit with your child
  • Help your child adapt to the surroundings

Removing restraints

When the care team decides that your child is safe without restraints, they will remove them right away.

If you have questions about restraints, please talk to your child’s doctor or nurse.

Key Points

  • Restraints are soft devices that limit freedom of movement.
  • We only use them when other ways to keep your child safe do not work.
  • We will always remove restraints as soon as your child is safe without them.

Reviewed: July 2022