Preparing for Your Hospital Stay

How to prepare your child for a hospital visit

It's normal for children to be afraid to stay in the hospital. Encourage your child to discuss his or her feelings and ask any questions. The Child Life team at HSHS St. Vincent Children’s Hospital provides support to children and families during their hospital stay.

Being in the hospital can also be stressful for you and your child if you are not prepared. There are many ways to make your visit a bit more comforting.

  • Be honest with your child about why he or she needs to go to the hospital. Try to prepare them for their procedure by using age-appropriate language.
  • Remind your child that the visit is only temporary and you will go home when the doctor says it’s OK.
  • Remind your child that they didn’t do anything wrong and they are not being punished by going to the hospital. Let them know that they need to go to the hospital, so the doctors can figure out why they keep getting sick.
  • Let your child help you pack for the hospital and allow them to bring their favorite stuffed animal, blanket, pajamas, movie and toy.
  • Learn how help siblings cope with this experience
 

What to bring

Please bring the following items to the hospital:

  • You child's medical records (including copies of his or her most recent lab results and X-rays)
  • Prescription and non-prescription medication lists
  • Insurance information
  • The name and phone number of your child's primary care physician
  • Your child may also need:
  • A robe, pajamas, slippers and a comb
  • Comfortable, casual clothing and shoes
  • Equipment unique to your child, like wheelchairs or feeding tubes
  • A comfort object, such as a blanket or toy
  • School work if he or she is expected to stay three or more days
Please leave any valuables at home.
 
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