Planning ahead for your child's hospital visit, can help make your experience easier for the whole family. Learn what steps you can take to get your love ones ready for the experience.

A child life specialist works with a patient

Contact a Child Life specialist

Call or email the Child Life Program at 717-531-8366 or [email protected] to ask questions before you arrive at the hospital.

A nurse listens to a baby's heart while her mother watches

Pre-register your child

To speed the hospital admission process, pre-register your child for a procedure or admission. Call our admissions team at 717-531-8855, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Before you arrive

Hospital preparations, understand billing, insurance, and financial assistance

Learn ahead of time what costs to expect. Steps you can take include:

Know where you'll spend the night

Up to two parents or caregivers, may stay overnight with their child in our Intensive Care, Intermediate Care, Acute Care and Hematology/Oncology units.

We are happy to help other family members and visitors make arrangement for overnight accommodations.

Bring Entertainment

While we offer fun activities for both patients and siblings, it's a good idea to bring small toys, books, and electronics with headphones to help pass the time - for both you and your child.

Communicate with schools, teachers, and coaches

Inform your child's school, as well as teachers or coaches in extracurricular activities, about the length of your child's hospital stay and how long he or she will be recovering at home.

For extended or frequent hospital stays, certified hospital schoolteachers at Penn State Health Children's Hospital may be able to assist in keeping up with school work.

Make arrangements for while you're away

If you know you're going to have an extended hospital stay, make arrangements with friends or neighbors to take care of things at home, including feeding and walking pets, paying bills, picking up the mail, and watering plants.