Preparing to come to hospital

With younger children, and siblings, we recommend that you start talking about your visit a few days before you come in. Good preparation can help children feel less anxious about any anaesthesia and treatment that they may need. However, in order to do this, you must first prepare yourself by making sure that all your questions have been answered. If you are comfortable with the process - your child will feel more comfortable too.

Ask your child questions such as ‘why are you going into hospital?’ and ‘what do think is going to happen?’. You can then correct any misunderstandings and hopefully remove any fears. Children of all ages cope better if they have a clearer idea of what is going to happen and why it is necessary.

With younger children, it might help to play some ‘going to hospital’ games with their toys. You may also be able to find books on going to hospital at your local library or book shop.

If you feel that you need more help and advice, please don’t hesitate to contact the sister or play specialist on the relevant ward/department.

Things to bring

Admission letter
Please bring in your child’s admission letter - this includes details such as where to go when you arrive and the date of your child’s admission.

Important information
We will ask you for your child’s health record or clinic book, your contact details and your GP’s details. We will also need details of the child’s next of kin. Please provide daytime and evening telephone numbers.

Medicine
If your child is taking any medicine/tablets, please bring these with you (in their original containers, if possible). You can give them to the nurse for safekeeping. Please also bring details of any injections your child is having.

Clothes
Please bring your child’s pyjamas, lightweight day clothes, underwear and shoes - the wards can be quite warm, even in winter. There are very limited laundry facilities on some of the wards, so you may have to do your child’s washing at home. If you intend to stay with them, you should bring your own belongings, but please do not bring any electrical items.

Toiletries
You will need to bring your child’s hairbrush, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, towel, flannel and tissue paper.

Toys
You may wish to bring your child’s special toy or comforter. Please label it if possible.

Baby food or feeding equipment
Please telephone the ward before admission to discuss any special feeding needs for your baby.

Money and valuables
Depending on their age, your child may need a small amount of change for telephone calls, magazines, etc. Please don’t bring any other valuables as we cannot take responsibility for their loss or damage. We will only accept responsibility for patients’ property if it has been handed over and signed for by a member of staff. Valuables may also be deposited with the hospital cashiers.