mom holding her young daughter and kissing the top of her head while in a hospital room

Helping Your Child in the Hospital

Parents can help make their child’s hospital stay better by offering the right kind of support. Our Child Life team provides the following information to help you do just that.

We Can't Do This Without You

  • Tell us about your child's favorite activities, school, family, friends, pets and reactions to being sick.
  • Share any concerns you may have about your child's behavior while in the hospital.
  • Join your child during play activities when you can.

Ways to Help During Procedures

Medical procedures can be stressful and frightening for children and their families. Our Child Life team offers the following tips:

  • Always be honest with your child – don't say a procedure won't hurt if it will.
  • Tell the staff what helps your child stay relaxed.
  • Focus on and talk about positive things.
  • Praise your child during and after the procedure for doing all the things that are asked of him or her. For example, "You did a great job holding your arm still."
  • Talk in a calm, quiet voice.
  • Be in a place where your child can see you while you hold hands or rub his or her forehead or cheek.
smiling mom and teenage daughter embrace in a hospital room

Specific Things You Can Do

How children react to and cope with being in the hospital varies depending on their age. Below are some ways to help your child during their hospital stay.