Hospitals can be a confusing place for a child. Preparing children ahead of time for the things they may experience in the hospital will reduce much of their anxiety. It will also help them cope and trust you and the people they meet in the hospital.
Since it's inception in 1968, Chase Child Life Program has been a pioneer, and a national model for how to appropriately address the social, emotional and developmental needs of each child and his/her family. Child Life Specialists recognize developmental issues related to illness, support coping strategies to reduce fears, and concerns through education, behavior management, and adaptive role play. Child Life Specialists are available to prepare your child prior to a medical procedure. For more information on having your child prepared by a Child Life Specialist, contact Chase Child Life Program, 310-267-9440, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be careful not to force a discussion if your child does not seem ready.
Be honest. If you do not know the answer, tell your child you do not know, but you will find out.
Use words the child will understand.
Encourage the child to discuss feelings and ask questions about the upcoming experience.
Have your child pack a suitcase with the things he or she wants in the hospital. Some children may be able to wear their own pajamas to sleep in, but depending on the medical situation, some children may be required to wear hospital pajamas.
Ask about pre-hospital preparations provided by Chase Child Life Program.
It is not uncommon to see changes in a child's behavior before, during or after hospitalization. Children's responses to hospitalization and medical procedures will differ, depending on their age, the procedures to be done, and their past experiences.