Preparing your child and family

Tips for preparing your child for a hospital stay

Depending on your child’s age, you can start talking to him or her a few days to a few weeks before the hospitalization to learn about his or her experience and ask questions.

  • Be honest. If you don’t know the answer, tell your child you don’t know, but you’ll find out.
  • Use words your child will understand. Get more tips on talking with your child.
  • Encourage your child to talk about feelings and to ask questions. Listen to the questions your child is asking and give information specific to what he or she wants to know.
  • Have your child pack comfort items from home such as a stuffed animal, favorite movie or book.
  • We have preparation programs (such as pre-admission tours) for you and your child to participate in.

You may see changes in your child's behavior before, during or after a hospital visit. This is normal. Children's responses will be different, depending on their age, the procedures they are having done and past experiences. Our Child Life team is available to help prepare your child for procedures or a hospital stay.