Attention CHOP clinicians: patient education should be printed and assigned via EPIC's Teaching Library.
Health Encyclopedia
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z A-Z Listings

Radiation Treatment

These instructions are for patients receiving radiation treatment at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Pediatric Proton Therapy Center.

Important information about radiation treatment visits:

If there is a problem with the machine and radiation treatment needs to be rescheduled, someone from the Radiation Oncology Department will call you. Please make sure your contact information is correct in your child's medical record.

Instructions before radiation treatment:

  • If your child is having general anesthesia for radiation:

    • Follow the instructions from the anesthesia team about eating and drinking before every radiation appointment. If your child eats or drinks on the morning of treatment, we will need to cancel the treatment.

    • Tell the anesthesia team about any home medicines that your child is taking. If your child's medicine schedule needs to be changed, the anesthesia team will give you instructions.

  • Your child may eat something before radiation treatment, as long as they are not receiving general anesthesia. You may also bring a snack to eat while your child is waiting, or for after treatment. Please do not eat in the CHOP waiting area, as younger children are not allowed to eat before their treatment. You may eat in the main Penn waiting area.

  • Your child will need to change into a hospital gown or shirt before the treatment. It is best for them to wear clothes that are easy to take on and off. It might be helpful to have a change of clothes for your child and yourself.

  • Bring a favorite blanket or comfort item. Bring your child's favorite drink or formula and snack for after the treatment. We cannot store food or provide snacks. Having these items can be comforting when your child wakes up.

  • It may be helpful to bring your stroller. Your child may still be a little sleepy after their treatment and may not feel like walking.

  • Bring books, music, video games or any other items that will help you and your child pass the time. All of the treatment rooms have music players, so your child may listen to music or audiobooks during treatment. We also have music available for your child to choose. Listening to music or an audiobook during treatment can help your child to relax and make the time pass more quickly. Headphones and ear buds are not allowed during treatment.

Instructions for radiation treatment days:

  • It is important that you come to every therapy appointment and to be on time. Please call the Radiation Oncology PACU Nurses Station at 215-615-5691 as soon as possible if you realize that you are going to be late or unable to come to your appointment. We will discuss the best option for you.

    • We understand that you may have to juggle many appointments for your child. We have many child and adult patients who are scheduled for radiation therapy appointments. Every appointment slot is very valuable.

  • Call if your child is having radiation-related problems or concerns.

  • Always call if your child has a fever and is scheduled for radiation that day or the next day. It is also important to inform your oncology team of any fevers.

    • Fever of 101.3 degrees F (38.5 degrees C) once, or fever of 100.4 degrees F (38 degrees C) three times in a 24-hour period, taken at least 2 hours apart.

    • The decision to go ahead with treatment will be made by the radiation oncologist and the anesthesiologist after discussion with your medical oncologist. Sometimes it is better that your child not have treatment if they are very sick. We will add any missed days to the end of the treatment schedule.

Call the oncology or radiation teams with any questions or concerns:

If you have any questions during your child's radiation treatments, you may contact the radiation oncology nurse practitioner or stop at the nurses' station for assistance. You do not have to wait for your weekly visit to ask questions.

Penn/CHOP Radiation (Monday-Friday, 7:00am-3:30pm)
CHOP Front Desk/Pediatric Waiting Room: 215-615-5678
PACU Nurses' Station: 215-615-5691
Penn Nurses' Station: 215-615-5604 (after 3pm)

Oncology Contact Information

8:30am-5:00pm, 7 days a week (including holidays)
215-590-2299 (select Phone Nurse)

Every day after 5:00pm, all patients
215-590-1000, ask the hospital operator for the Oncology Fellow on-call


Reviewed on March 1, 2022, by Elizabeth Cummings, MSN, CPNP-AC, CPHON, Kelly Clegg, RN

Powered by StayWell