How to support your child through a hospitalization:
Be honest when explaining to your child what is going to happen.
Answer only the questions your child is asking, simply and directly (too much information can be overwhelming.)
Encourage your child to ask questions and participate in his/her treatment.
Provide your child with simple and realistic choices to give your child a sense of control.
Reassure and praise your child frequently.
Share information with treatment staff about your child’s interests, previous medical experiences and coping behaviors.
Room in with your child, if at all possible. This can help reduce stress from separation.
Know that pain is different for each child. Do not to tell your child, “It won’t hurt.” Your child may feel some pain. Phrases such as “ this may sting or pinch” are more honest and will not minimize pain. (Your child is entitled to adequate pain management. Be sure to communicate with your medical staff about the needs of your child.)
Finally, although it is difficult, try to relax. Your children take their cues from you and will pick up on your anxiety.
What to bring for your child’s hospital stay:
Toothbrush, toothpaste and other personal hygiene supplies
Stuffed animal, blanket, etc.
Your own blankets, pillows, and clothing if you prefer (don’t forget pajamas!)
Any medications your child is presently taking
School assignments and other activities your child may feel up to
Glasses, contacts, hearing aids, etc.
Money (parents will need to purchase meals)
Mass General for Children at North Shore Medical Center