Hospitalization can be a stressful time for your child and your family. The unknown of the hospital environment can be frightening. By helping your child prepare, you can make the hospital experience a positive one. Your feelings about the hospitalization can affect your child’s emotions and behaviors, so remember to speak positively around your child when discussing the upcoming stay at Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Honesty will be important to your child. In an effort to reassure your child, you may be tempted to say things that are not true, but it is important to be open. Tell your child in easy to understand terms why he or she is going to the hospital. If something will hurt, say so. Explain that although it will hurt for a while, the doctors and nurses will make sure he or she is as comfortable as possible. It is appropriate to tell your child that you do not know the answer to a question. In these situations, you can let your child know that you will check with their care team to get the information. A certified child life specialist may be available to help your child understand his or her upcoming visit.
If you have questions about preparing your child for his or her hospital or medical experience, please contact our child life department at 813-972-2250.