We know that a hospital stay can be a difficult experience for children and their parents. Rest assured we’ll do everything we can to help your child feel safe and secure.

Before Your Child’s Stay

You can help prepare your child by talking about what to expect in the hospital. Let them know you’ll be with them whenever possible and that, when you can’t, they’ll always be cared for by a responsible adult, such as a nurse or doctor. Encourage them to ask you and the medical team questions and explain that the team will be asking them questions, too.

Remind your child that the hospital will have games and age-appropriate books and videos. Involve brothers and sisters in your discussion, so everyone has a chance to share concerns and questions. Make sure to share other information you know, such as when your child is coming home.

Preregister for your child’s stay now to save time when you check in.

What to Bring

Help your child choose what to pack and encourage him or her to bring the comforts of home such as a favorite blanket, pillow, stuffed animals, portable gaming systems and personal electronics. Include a bathrobe, slippers or socks and personal toiletries such as a toothbrush, toothpaste and shampoo. If you forget, socks and toiletries are available upon request.

Bring a list of your child’s current medications and immunization record to the hospital, as well as the patient history form, if you received this in the mail. If you have difficulty answering any of the questions, a healthcare provider will help you complete the form when you come to the hospital.

Learn more about what to bring to the hospital.

Going Home

Preparing for your child’s discharge from the hospital requires careful planning. The hospital staff will help you understand how to care for your child at home during recovery and help you obtain any additional services or equipment.

A car seat is required by law for children. Learn how to choose the right car seat for your child.

Learn more about kids’ and teens’ health in our online Health Library. Our KidsHealth section provides health information designed especially for kids.