what to say to someone with a kid in the PICU
Cavan Images/Cavan/Getty Images

What To Text A Friend With A Child In The PICU

Because they need all the love they can get.

Childhood can be a magical time, full of friends, family, and fun, but it can also include serious illnesses and injuries, too. And if you know someone whose child is in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), you might want to send them a message of encouragement and support while their child is in the hospital. But what do you say? It’s hard enough to find the right words sometimes, especially when a friend might be struggling with some big issues, but these text messages might offer them some solace during a tough time.

Typically designed for children who are 18 years old or younger, the PICU treats patients who are critically ill, who might have had a serious surgical procedure, or have been injured. The PICU is a big deal for sure, and that’s what makes sending a thoughtful text to a friend with a child in the PICU that much more important. If you don’t get a response to your text right away, don’t assume that means you said the wrong thing. Usually, in situations like this, the only ‘wrong’ thing is to say nothing. Parents with children in PICU are preoccupied with their child’s health and might not be able to answer immediately. In fact, sometimes it’s nice to include “no need to respond, unless you want to” at the end of your message of support, just to let them know you understand. Just being able to read the text, though, and know that they have someone who is cheering them on from the sidelines can mean so much.

Practical texts to send a friend with a child in the PICU

  • Dinner is done. I’ve left a lasagna at your house.
  • How can I help you?
  • Do you need me to pick up your kids from school?
  • Don’t worry about Fluffy/Fido. I’ve got pet care covered.
  • Do you need me to grab anything from your house for you?
  • I got you a gift card for anything you might need.
  • I can help your kids with their homework.
  • Do you need me to bring some clothes to the hospital for you?
  • I’m doing a Target run. What do you need?
  • Just hired a house cleaner so you won’t have to worry about seeing a sink full of dishes at home.

Meaningful texts to send a friend with a child in the PICU

RubberBall Productions/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
  • I love you and am here for you
  • I’m here anytime you need me, day or night.
  • If you need a good cry, I’ve got the Kleenex.
  • It’s amazing how well you’re handling this.
  • This just sucks, and I’m so sorry your family is going through this.
  • Your child is in the best hands getting the care they need.
  • You’re a supermom.
  • Let me know how we can support you through this.
  • We’re going to get through this together.
  • Remember to step away if you need to take a break.
  • I hope everything goes well today.

Supportive best friend texts to send a friend with a child in the PICU

  • I’m bringing you a cup of coffee — and a huge hug.
  • I’ve heard scream therapy is a thing.
  • I love you so much.
  • You need to eat. Name whatever you’d like and I’ll get it for you.
  • I am bringing you a bag of goodies.
  • If you need a break, I can stay so you can go home and shower or sleep.
  • Life is so unfair, and it’s absolutely OK to be angry.
  • What’s your shower sitch? Do you need some shampoo?
  • I have a dozen doughnuts and don’t know what to do with them. Meet me downstairs.
  • We love your kid. They’re going to be okay — and so will you.

When a child is sick, it can be tough to know what to text. So, speak from your heart as you offer encouragement, kindness (and some snacks) that your friend will appreciate while their child is getting the health care they need in the hospital.