UPDATE: LIMITING VISITORS TO ONE PARENT and ONE CHILD / Visitation Policy Reminder

While state mandates for universal masking, capacity, and occupancy have been lifted under Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s order, CDC guidance on masking, social distancing, and infection control precautions are still encouraged within the order.

Shriners Children’s Texas will continue to adhere to the universal masking policy and all other COVID-19 precautions that have been in place to keep our patients, families, and workforce safe.

At Shriners Hospitals for Children, the health and safety of our patients, families, volunteers and staff is our top priority. With the evolving situation regarding COVID-19, we are closely monitoring updates from local health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and are actively following their recommendations.

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

Skip to navigation

Preparing your child

Preparing your child

Hospitalization can be a stressful time for your child and your family. By helping your child prepare, you can make the hospital experience more comfortable and positive.

  • Speak positively: Speak positively around your child when discussing their upcoming stay at Shriners Children's Texas. Your feelings and expressed thoughts about hospitalization can affect your child’s emotions and behaviors.
  • Be honest: It is also important to be honest with your child about what a hospitalization entails using developmentally appropriate language in order for your child to understand. Answer your child’s questions openly and honestly, but keep it general and do not promise anything. 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 the treatment team to get them information.
  • Remain supportive: You are your child’s source of comfort and love.
  • Ask questions: Be sure to have a clear understanding of your child’s hospitalization.
  • Empower your child: Offer choices when possible.

If you have questions about preparing your child for his or her hospital or medical experience, please contact our child life department at 409-770-6800. Child life specializes in helping children to understand and cope with difficult experiences that can occur during medical care.

Younger children

  • Read stories or watch videos with your child about going to the hospital.
  • Engage your child in medical play with a doll or favorite stuffed animal to understand fears and misconceptions they may have. Ask them what they think will happen during their appointment and clarify their misconceptions when possible.
  • Allow your child to talk about their thoughts and feelings.
  • Allow your child to help pack. Let them choose a few favorite items to bring to the hospital.

Adolescents

  • Have your teen write down questions or concerns they may have and bring them with to pre-op appointments.
  • Encourage your teen to maintain contact with family and friends through visits, text messages and social media.
  • Have your teen pack for the hospital stay. Remind your teen to include both special and personal items.

Siblings

Hospitalization can also be a stressful event for siblings at home. Their day-to-day routine may be altered by 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 your 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 for children and their families. You can help your child through this difficult time.

Ways to support your child:

  • Children will reflect your behavior; try to remain calm and reassuring.
  • Be honest. Your child will look to you for answers; it is okay to tell them you don’t have the answers to their questions. Remind them that this is a new experience and you are experiencing it together.
  • Let your child know that you will check with the treatment team to get them information.
  • Remain supportive. You are your child’s source of comfort and love.