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Preparing for Your Child’s Hospital Stay

A hospital stay can represent a major change for the entire family.  We would like to share some ideas for ways you can prepare for the hospital stay. 

Preparing Your Child

Prepare yourself first

  • Gather information before speaking with your child
  • Talk with your child’s doctor about the plan for treatment
  • Learn about the tests, procedures, and treatments planned for your child
  • Be sure to get answers to your questions that are understandable to you
  • Recognize your own feelings and perceptions about your child’s upcoming hospitalization
  • Identify a support network
  • Talk with friends and family to help with things that will be hard for you to do while you are in the hospital (for example: meals, transportation, and daily errands)
  • Arranging visits to the hospital
  • Make arrangements for child care for your other children

How to talk to your child

You know your child best of all.  Use that knowledge, along with the information you have gathered, to talk openly and honestly with your child. Find what questions she has and what she may be wondering about this hospitalization.  How much and when to tell your child will depend on:

  • Age and developmental stage            
  • Personality
  • Past health care experiences
  • Understanding of the illness

If you have further questions related specifically to your child’s needs, please contact the Child Life office at 410-955-6276. 

Also check out our Hopkins Kids website together with your child before your visit.