The health and safety of our patients, families and staff is our highest priority. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is requiring hospitals to meet established criteria as part of the state’s reopening plan. Effective March 22, 2021, Massachusetts moved into phase four of its reopening plan in accordance with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s guidance plan for reopening.

If your child has an upcoming appointment, please contact your local Shriners Hospitals for Children location.

Screening protocol and updated policies at the Springfield Shriners Hospital.

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Preparing your child

Preparing your child

Preparing your child

At Shriners Hospitals for Children — Springfield, we understand that hospitalization can be a stressful time for both you and your child. Remember to speak positively around your child when discussing their upcoming hospitalization, as your feelings can affect your child’s emotions and behaviors. Honesty will be important to your child. Be sure to have all your questions answered by your child’s physician. By helping prepare your child, you can make the hospital experience a more positive one.

Younger children

  • Read stories or watch videos with your child about going to the hospital.
  • Encourage medical play.
  • Allow your child to talk about his or her thoughts and feelings.
  • Allow your child to help pack. Let him or her choose a few favorite items to bring to the hospital.
  • Know what is comforting to your child at home and share those methods with our hospital staff.
  • Reassure young children that the staff will take good care of them and help them get better.


  • Have your teen speak with someone who has had a similar hospitalization.
  • Encourage your teen to maintain contact with family and friends through social media, visits, phone calls, email or mail.
  • Have your teen pack for the hospital stay.
  • Remind your teen to include both special and personal items – pictures of family and friends, music. Please leave valuables at home.


Hospitalization can also be a stressful event for brothers and sisters at home. Their day-to-day routine may be altered with the absence of a caregiver. Brothers and sisters may experience feelings of isolation. To ease potential anxiety, please remember to:

  • Encourage siblings’ understanding of hospitalization.
  • Encourage contact between siblings and the child in the hospital.
  • Continue to provide understanding and reassurance for the siblings at home.
  • Try to stick to routines as much as possible.
  • If siblings are unable to visit, help them feel included by suggesting they make decorations or get well cards.

When there is no time to prepare

Hospitalization can be sudden when your child has been injured. Having little or no time to prepare for the experience and not knowing what to expect can be overwhelming. Children can experience distress related to unplanned events. You can help your child through this difficult time.

Be honest. Answer your child’s questions openly and honestly, but keep it general and don’t promise anything. It’s 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 the treatment team to get them information.