Current Environment:

Prepare for your visit

Medical records

A nurse will review your child’s chart in advance of their visit and request your surgeon’s office to obtain any necessary medical records. It is important that we have the most recent medical records from any providers following your child at a facility outside of Boston Children’s Hospital. If there are medical records that are important to have on file from outside institutions, please contact your surgeon’s office to assist in uploading these records to your child’s chart.

Legal guardianship

Children under 18 years of age need to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian day of surgery. Generally, surgery cannot take place without consent forms that are signed by a parent or legal guardian.

Patients 18 years of age or older who can consent to their own medical care do not need to be accompanied by a legal guardian on the morning of their procedure, however, they do need someone 18 years of age or older to be present with them at the time of discharge from the PACU.

Patients 18 years of age or older who are not able to consent to their own medical or dental treatment (for example, due to developmental delays) must be accompanied by a legal guardian. It is important to note that once a child turns 18, their parents are no longer automatically the legal guardians and lack the ability to make consent decisions for the child. Therefore, in order to become a legal guardian for a child 18 years of age and older, parents (or others) must be appointed by a court. Please note, if your child is 18 years of age or older and cannot consent to their own treatment, and you or another consenting adult has not been appointed as your child's legal guardian, the hospital may not be able to treat your child. If you have been appointed your child's legal guardian by a court, please be sure to bring your papers on the day of your visit.

If your child is a foster child, a child whose adoption is pending, or a child living with you temporarily on request of the child's natural parents, it will be necessary to bring all papers documenting your legal guardianship or authority to consent to the child's medical care.

If you have no such papers, you should contact your surgeon’s office and/or social worker (if applicable). If adoption is finalized, no guardianship paperwork is needed.

If the state Department of Children and Families (DCF) is involved, contact the assigned caseworker to clarify the department's role in any decision making. This is the only way can we ensure your child's admission will not be delayed.

Please bring on the day of your visit:

  • list of medications that your child is currently taking. Please bring a written list of all medications including over-the-counter medications (doses should be in milligrams). Also: pharmacy receipts, photos of bottles, or printout from physician office.
  • insurance information
  • written list of questions that you or your child may have
  • copy of court papers designating legal guardianship (if applicable)

Prepare for the day of surgery

Each child is allowed to have up to two caregivers with them in the hospital. For information regarding local accommodations, please review hospital-affiliated accommodations. For additional assistance, please reach out to the Hale Family Center for Families or request to speak with a social worker from your surgeon’s office.

Plan to arrive at your surgical location 90 minutes before the surgery is scheduled (unless otherwise told). No food or drinks are allowed in preoperative holding areas.

Prepare to verify all medications. Bring photos of medication bottles (to show details), printout from physician office, or pharmacy receipts showing dose info.

Any individual assigned female at birth, with a uterus, age 12 or older will require a preoperative urine pregnancy test. Individuals under age 12 who have started menstruating will also need to provide a urine sample for required pregnancy testing. If your child is unable to provide a urine sample, a blood test will be drawn to screen for pregnancy.

Consents for surgery/procedure must be signed by the child’s parent or legal guardian if under age 18 or if patient is over 18 and is unable/not competent to consent.

All jewelry (including body piercings) and all nail polish must be removed.

Please remove your contact lenses and bring glasses.

You are welcome to bring any support objects or special toys. This includes a special stuffed toy, pillow, blanket, favorite photo or drawing, etc.