While a hospital stay may interrupt your child’s regular routine, you can make the stay more comfortable and fun with games and distractions from home, and by taking advantage of the activities offered at Penn State Children’s Hospital.
What to bring
You may want to bring items to the hospital that make your child feel comfortable as well as provide a distraction. Consider bringing:
- A favorite item, such as a favorite blanket or stuffed animal
- Books or coloring books
- Personal electronics with headphones
What to say
What you say and your body language influences your child’s perception of the hospital.
- Use simple words and answer questions honestly when talking to your child about a hospital stay or procedure. Our Child Life specialists are happy to help you know what words to use.
- Set expectations. Let your child know what he or she will see, hear, smell, feel, and be expected to do. If you have to leave, explain why you are leaving, where you are going, and when you will return. Have a family member or familiar adult stay with your child when you’re away.
- Reassure your child that being in the hospital is not a punishment.
- Encourage your child to participate by asking his or her own questions to the care team