Whether it is for an overnight stay or a longer admission, preparing a child for a hospitalization stay can be stressful for families. Parents are often unsure how much to tell their children in advance and may worry about increasing children’s anxiety by providing too much or the wrong kind of information. They may worry about how to keep children as calm and comfortable as possible while they are in the hospital, or how to keep them connected to family, friends and school during that time.
Providing children with information about what to expect in an age-appropriate and specific manner can help with any anxiety they may be experiencing and reduce their distress. This reduced anxiety and distress can, in turn, be associated with positive outcomes for children, such as improved sleep and decreased pain while in the hospital. It can also improve children’s confidence and correct any misconceptions they might have about the hospitalization process.
Check out these five child hospitalization tips to help prepare your child.