Preparing for a hospital stay

Parkview staff understands that caring for your hospitalized child can be stressful and overwhelming. Families who have experienced a child’s injury or illness have some helpful tips that you'll find below.

Items you Should Bring:

  • Comfortable clothes you can wear while sleeping
  • Comfortable shoes — you may stand a lot by your child’s bedside
  • Sweater or light jacket — temperatures fluctuate
  • Hand lotion — you will wash your hands more often than you normally do
  • Lip balm, mints or hard candy, and face cream — indoor air can be dry
  • Eye glasses, contact lenses, cases and solution — eyes may become irritated 
  • Toiletry items
  • Prescription and non-prescription medications or vitamins you take regularly, including a headache remedy
  • Snacks and breakfast foods (also available at the Ronald McDonald House)
  • Refillable water bottle, juice, tea bags, etc.
  • Change for vending machines
  • A copy of your child’s medical history, list of immunizations and medications, insurance card, etc.
  • Magazines, books or other reading material
  • Note cards, stamps, address book — for writing thank you notes
  • CD player, MP3 player, tablet device or laptop with headphones – free Wi-Fi is available
  • Needlework or knitting

To improve your hospital experience you could also:

  • Bring familiar items such as family photos, your child's own clothes, security items, drawings and letters from siblings, friends and/or classmates.
  • If your child is up to it, encourage visits from friends, help them keep up with schoolwork and take part in the Child Life Activity Center in the pediatrics area.
  • Promote reading, drawing and playing activities at the bedside, if your child cannot leave the room.
  • Ask your child life specialist for ideas to help your family cope with your child's hospitalization.

Your friends will undoubtedly ask how they can help during the process. Be open to help when they ask, “What can I do?” It’s good to have a plan.

Ask your friends to help with household tasks or chores you normally perform, including:

  • Bringing food to your home, especially when you first return home
  • Bringing mail and/or newspapers into your house
  • Feeding your pets according to their normal schedule
  • Cutting or watering the lawn/flowers
  • Purchasing basic grocery items (milk, bread, etc.) for your family
  • Assisting family members with laundry
  • Helping to care for your children who are at home, or taking them to their routine events, including lessons, team practices, ball games, etc.
  • Tending to the emotional needs of the children who are at home
  • Bringing lunch or dinner to you at the hospital
  • Bringing a change of clothes, mail and other items you need to the hospital
  • Spending time with you — just being there can be important
  • Sitting with your ill or sick child, so you can take a break or shower
  • Spending a few hours in your home answering the phone so you can sleep (they can wake you if the hospital calls)

Keep in mind that when your child is in the hospital, it can be emotional and exhausting.

To be the best parent you can be, you must take care of yourself, so know ahead of time that you should try to:

  • Take care of yourself 
  • Take breaks
  • Eat properly
  • Get enough sleep
  • Talk with a friend
  • Journal – one online option is CaringBridge
  • Log dates, times and procedure names
  • Know that it is OK to ask for help


Need assistance?

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