How to prepare your child for his/her hospital stay
For a parent, having a child in the hospital is a very frightening time. However, parents shouldn't forget that a child will be equally (or more) as frightened of the situation. Preparing your child will go a long way toward making the hospital stay as easy as possible.
Step 1: Stay calm
No matter how serious the reason for the hospital stay, you should remain calm and reassuring in front of your child. If you panic, your child will get scared and the whole situation will get much more stressful for everyone involved. Remember, it is your responsibility to be strong in this time of need.
Step 2: Explain the timeline
While honesty is valued, you don't need to give your child too much detail if doing so could add to the anxiety of their stay. However, it's safe to explain the timeline of when everything is going to happen and why they need the treatment or surgery. Your young child can even use a calendar to show your child when they will arrive in the hospital and when they will get to leave.
Step 3: Stay at the hospital as much as possible
Most children are the most comfortable when their parents are within sight. With that in mind, it is important to stay at their side as much as humanly possible when he or she is in the hospital.
Step 4: Bring touches from home
Although you'll want to ask the hospital staff first, consider bringing some items from home to the hospital. If your child has a favorite blanket or teddy bear, take that with you to the hospital. Don't be afraid to ask your child what they want bring along!
Step 5: Plan future activities
Give your kid something to look forward to beyond their hospital stay. For example, you can promise a trip to the zoo or a new video game once they return home. This simple step could keep your child happy and excited even if you are uneasy.
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