Preparing Yourself For Your Child's Stay

We understand that it’s stressful to have a sick child. In addition to rearranging regular activities, such as work and school, you may experience worry, guilt, sadness, and relief as you prepare for your child’s hospital stay. As you help your child get ready for his hospital experience, it’s just as important to mentally and physically prepare yourself.

Common feelings

Knowing that your child will be admitted to the hospital or will undergo a procedure may bring up a variety of feelings, including anxiety, fear, worry, helplessness, shock, guilt, anger, numbness, relief, and sadness. Children often sense their parents' feelings. Allowing yourself time to experience your own feelings will help you better support your child.


It’s helpful to learn more about the hospital, your child's medical condition, and the treatment. You may want to write down your questions.

Some common questions you may want to ask:

  • What should I tell my child about the procedure or operation?
  • What will happen immediately before the operation or procedure?
  • How long will the procedure or operation take?
  • 我能否在手术期间在一旁陪伴我的孩子?
  • Where will I wait during the procedure or operation?
  • Will I be told how my child is doing during the procedure or operation?
  • When will I be able to see my child after the procedure or operation?
  • 我的孩子是否会感到疼痛?
  • 我的孩子需要住院多长时间?
  • 我的孩子需要多长时间才能返校和玩耍?
  • Where can I find more information on my child's condition, operation, or procedure?
  • 请记住,您是最了解自己孩子的人。Be sure to tell your child's doctors, nurses, and other caregivers about your child's personality and past experiences with health care. For example, if your child is especially afraid of blood tests, staff can often find ways to make the experience less upsetting.


  • It's hard to support your child and family if you don’t take care of yourself physically and emotionally.
  • If possible, take turns with another caregiver in sleeping at the hospital with your child; make a schedule before your child is admitted.
  • 偶尔离开孩子的病房休息一下。例如,出去散步或喝杯咖啡。Ask the Child Life specialist if a volunteer could stay with your child while you take a break.
  • 与朋友和家人讨论您的担忧和疑虑。
  • 学习深呼吸和放松运动。Programs about this are shown on Channel 28, the hospital's Education and Relaxation channel.
  • Visit the Hale Family Center for Families or the Resource Room on your floor and ask about wellness activities for caregivers. Massage, Reiki, gentle yoga, meditation, and Zumba are just a few options available throughout the hospital.
  • 有规律地锻炼。前往 Hale Family,或询问社工或儿童生活专家医院附近哪里有健身房。
  • 询问家长在孩子病房中体验咖啡时间的相关信息;询问支持团体的相关信息。
  • 将住院经历记录在日记中。
  • 做好看望和陪伴您的其他孩子的计划。
  • 如果您和孩子的另一位监护人不住在一起,但都参与孩子的日常起居,那么您需要花时间决定由谁在住院或手术期间的不同时间段陪伴孩子。让您的孩子了解相关计划。

Special considerations

If you have a restraining order against your child's other parent, bring a copy of it with you. Show it to the social worker at the hospital.

If you are worried about domestic violence issues, call the AWAKE (Advocacy for Women and Kids in Emergencies) Program or speak with a nurse or social worker.