Here are some questions commonly asked by children prior to their hospital visit. If your child is planning a trip to the hospital share this information with them to help ease any concerns they may have.
Why do I have to go to the hospital?
It is important to be honest with your child about coming to the hospital. She will feel better if she is informed about the experience prior to admission. Many children believe that staying in the hospital is a punishment for something they did wrong. Reassure your child that it is not her fault. We recommend that you begin talking to your child about the hospitalization 1 to 3 days ahead for children under age 3. Older children need more time to ask questions, pack and get ready. Specific information should be shared on a level your child will understand.
The following links provide preparation information specific to your child's age:
When will I come home?
When your child's physician decides your child is well enough to go home, they will begin talking to you about the discharge plan. Children may not always understand why it is necessary to remain in the hospital, so reassure your child that you will all go home as soon as possible. Talk with your child about the things you will do together once you get home.
Will it hurt?
The most common fear for children of all ages is being stuck with a needle. While you don't want to scare your child, you cannot promise him/her that there will not be any shots or uncomfortable experiences while hospitalized. Instead tell your child that if anything hurts, it is okay to yell ouch and to cry. Reassure your child that no one wants to hurt them and that it is the nurses and doctors job to help the patients get better.
Where will I stay?
Children stay in patient rooms on units with other children of the same age. Your child may have her own room or may have one roommate. All rooms have a bathroom, telephone, TV and a chair/bed for a parent to sleep. Cable access allows your child to watch a variety of child-friendly channels. Many of the rooms have their own DVD players. A limited number of portable video game systems, DVDs and computers may also be available for your child to use in the room.
» Watch a Virtual Tour of our hospital
Can my parent stay with me?
Parents or legal guardians may visit at any time. One adult may stay overnight in the patient room (except in specialty units). It is usually very important and helpful to your child for a family member to stay.
» Read more about staying overnight with your child
Can my brothers and sisters visit?
Healthy brothers and sisters 12 years and older may visit during normal visiting hours. Normal visiting hours are between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Special arrangements can be made for younger siblings; check with your child's nurse. Siblings must be at least 18 years old to spend the night. If siblings are sick, have been exposed to the chicken pox or any other illness; please do not bring them to the hospital.
» Read more about our visitation policy
Can I bring things from home?
It is important for children to pack familiar items for their hospital stay. Movies, music and favorite toys or security items can be brought to the hospital. Please make sure electronic items operate with batteries only. Additionally, toys and activities can be borrowed from the Child Life Atrium play area.
» Read more about what to bring
Can I eat my favorite foods?
To ensure that there are many options for your child to choose from, we offer At Your Request® patient dining system. You can call and order the food your child wants, when they want it. A restaurant style menu is located on the bedside table.
» Read more about At Your Request® Menu System