Talk to your child about coming to the hospital
You can help your child feel more secure and confident about coming to the hospital by talking with your child about what to expect.
Kids have lots of questions: why they have to go to the hospital, where you will be while they are here, how long they will have to stay, and more. You can tell your child that Children’s Hospital is a place where kids receive care so they can get better and return home to their families. Let your child know it’s a place just for kids, where all the grown-ups are there to help.
The best times to talk about hospitalization with your child
Children under the age of 4 live very much in the present, so it’s best to tell them about their hospital stay a day or two before admission. Older children will need more time to think about what you tell them and ask questions. For kids of all ages, it’s important to encourage questions and give as much honest information as your child can understand.
What to bring: kid stuff
Kids of all ages feel better about hospitalization if they can play an active role in preparing. Ask your child what special things he or she would like to bring to the hospital, and let your child help pack a bag. We’ll provide pajamas, toiletries, toothbrush, comb, and diapers if needed.
Older kids may want to bring an inexpensive or disposable camera to make a photo history of their stay.
What to bring: adults
Parents, please bring:
• Your child’s immunization records
• The name, address, and telephone number of your child’s primary care physician
• Insurance information/cards
• Special medical supplies/equipment currently used by your child (hearing aids, crutches, braces or other corrective aids, etc.)
• A list of all medicines taken by your child, including non-prescription medicines and vitamins. If you don’t have a list, please bring in the containers.
• A change of clothing, toiletries, and personal items for you
What to leave at home
• Safety codes do not allow television sets, video player/recorders, or “boom boxes” from home. A personal hand-held stereo or video game unit is okay. Please note that Children’s Hospital Oakland cannot be responsible for lost valuables. All personal items should be clearly labeled.
• Please leave jewelry and personal valuables at home.
• Latex balloons are not allowed (they are a health and safety risk). Mylar balloons are fine.