Preparing Your Child for the Hospital
Children often need special help coping with acute and chronic illness. The following tips from our Child Life Specialists can help your child feel more comfortable in the hospital:
- Use a soft, calm voice
- Stay with your child during treatments and procedures, if possible – your presence is comforting and healing.
- Hold or touch your child.
- Rock your infant to soothe him or her.
- Be honest and use simple language.
- Give your child realistic choices, when possible, such as deciding which finger to use during a needle stick.
- Listen to your child's concerns. It is OK for your child to ask questions, cry and talk about feelings. Crying is a release for tension, anger and hurt, and is healthy.
- Encourage your child during a procedure with words like "You are doing a great job holding still."
- Try deep breathing or using a distraction that can help reduce pain.
- Use imagery to re-focus attention on a pleasant past activity.