What should I tell my child about coming into hospital?
The thought of coming into hospital might be worrying for children so please tell your child, and any brothers and sisters, as much as they can understand before they visit us.
Be clear and honest
Tell your child as much as you can about what will happen
Use simple words
Answer any questions truthfully
When should I tell my child?
This will depend on your child's age
Toddlers may not understand time. Tell them at least a couple of days before coming in.
Pre-school age - tell them at least a week before as they may enjoy "hospital play"
Older children - give them as much time as possible. They may need time to think things through and want to ask questions.
Preparing for hospital together can help, for example packing the hospital bag and reading books together. "Hospital play" and drawing pictures together can also help.
We have also prepared a useful checklist for you and we have a section of our site aimed specifically at children - why not have a look with them?
For more help, contact Action for Sick Children, a children's health care charity.
Tel: 020 7483 6444