During your visit
When your child is admitted to the hospital or undergoes a procedure, it can be stressful for the whole family. At Boston Children's Hospital, we are dedicated to making your and your family's hospital experience as positive as possible. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to improve your stay.
Here are some tips that may be helpful to use while at the hospital:
- Continue to follow the rules you use at home. What is not allowed at home should not be allowed in the hospital.
- Try to follow your child's usual daily schedules and routines. For example, if your child naps at home, plan a naptime in the hospital. If your child is an infant, continue to take an active role in her care, such as by holding and rocking her like you would at home.
- Consistency of routine helps children feels less scared and anxious about being in the hospital.
- Make time for yourself. Take time for coffee breaks and to eat meals.
Understanding the hospital
- Talk with your child every day to find out what she understands about what's happening at the hospital and with her care and treatment. This will help clear up any questions or confusion about the hospital.
- Encourage your child to ask the nurses and doctors questions. If your child is not able to do this, write down the questions and ask them yourself in your child's presence.
Adjusting to new surroundings
- There are playrooms on each inpatient floor where your child can go to play games, do some coloring or other crafts, watch a movie or just relax. Every playroom is a procedure-free zone where nothing medical can happen (like having blood taken) to your child while she is in a playroom.
- Give your child a choice whenever possible. For example, ask, "Do you want to take your medicine with juice or water?"
- Plan something to look forward to during the day, for example, time in the playroom, watching a favorite video or a trip to the gift cart.
- Make your child's space personal. Hang up family photos or your child's drawings. You may want to bring your child's favorite pillow, blanket or toy to the hospital.
- Encourage your child to express her feelings. Your child may do this through playing, talking or drawing.
- Ask your nurse if it’s possible to explore other areas of the hospital like the lobby, garden, cafeteria or chapel.
- Ask the Child Life specialist to help you create a calendar to keep track of days and events in the hospital.
- Plan time for friends and family to visit your child.