Staying in the hospital can be a frightening experience, especially for children. They are suddenly in a very different place, surrounded by people they don't know. New sights, sounds and smells can be scary for a child.
You can usually stay with your child in the hospital. Being there for as long as possible may help them to cope better. If you can stay overnight, ask staff to arrange an extra bed or mattress for you. Some hospitals have accommodation nearby that you can use while your child is in hospital.
It may not always be possible for you to stay with your child. You may have other children, or your child's stay might be extended. If you are able to stay with your child, let them know that you will be there.
If you are unable to stay or have to go at any point, talk to your child beforehand and let them know what is happening. Tell them how long you will be gone for, and make sure you are back on time.
If you are unable to stay at the hospital for long periods of time, it may be beneficial to arrange for a friend or relative that your child is familiar with to visit. Your child will feel more comfortable with the situation if they have people they know and trust with them.
How to prepare your child for hospital
It will be easier for your child if they have an idea of what to expect. If your child has been referred to the hospital you may have time to prepare them.
Explain to your child that hospitals are a safe place to be, and that doctors and nurses are there to make them feel better. There are many good children's books about hospitals. Using a book might help your child feel at ease. Ask at your local bookshop for ideas.
Some hospitals can arrange visiting days for school or pre-school classes, so children can look around and speak to staff. Ask at your hospital to see if they can help.
NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice,
diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your
physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere.
If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.