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How to Deal with a Child’s Hospital Stay

Being in the hospital and away from home is a big change from your normal family routine and can be frightening for even the most independent child. For his or her sake—as well as your own peace of mind—it’s best if you stay with your child while he or she remains in the hospital. If you must leave, make sure your child and your nurses know when you will be back and how to reach you while you are away.

Although your child might be alarmed by all the new sights, people and sounds, it’s vital to let him or her know what is going to happen as calmly as possible. It’s important to tell the truth so that their imagination doesn’t run wild. Let your child know that it is always okay to ask questions, to cry, or to talk about feelings. Let him or her know that you will both be going home as soon as he or she is well enough.

Caring For Your Child

Your child knows you and the way you care for him or her. To make this hospital stay as easy as possible, we suggest you maintain this care.

You may help by:

  • Feeding your child

  • Asking for your child’s favorite food

  • Bathing your child

  • Changing your child’s diapers

  • Going with your child for tests and procedures

  • Being with your child as much as possible during stressful procedures

Fun Centers

We understand that when your child is sick or injured, it’s not enough for us to have the most qualified professionals and advanced technologies. It also takes caring nurses and kind doctors in a kid-friendly, non-threatening environment. Memorial’s Pediatric Department has several Starlight™ Fun Center mobile entertainment units, which will roll right up to the side of our young patients’ beds.

Equipped with a Nintendo Wii™ or a Nintendo Switch that is specially customized for hospitals, allows kids, even those who aren’t able to leave their beds or who have limited motion, to play with ease.

Patient & Parent Meals

Our pediatric patients receive food choices from a special children’s menu. Menus are issued a day in advance and must be filled out and turned in by 10:30 a.m. One preselected guest tray is provided for the parent staying with the child. Coffee is available for parents and visitors in the pantry, and a coke machine is located near the elevators. Beverages and snacks are available for patients’ use. Pacifiers and bottles are also available upon request.

Security & Safety

When your child is admitted, an identification band will be placed on a wrist or ankle. This band is used to identify your child throughout the hospital. Your child may also receive other color-coded bands that alert your nurse to information about your child’s care. DO NOT REMOVE THESE BANDS. If they come off, please notify your nurse.

All pediatric staff members at Memorial wear a PINK IDENTIFICATION BADGE with their name, title and a Memorial logo clearly displayed. ANYONE TAKING YOUR CHILD FROM THE ROOM SHOULD BE INTRODUCED TO YOU BY YOUR NURSE.

Please do not allow your child to go with anyone who does not have a Memorial Hospital ID badge. Question unfamiliar or suspicious persons entering your room or inquiring about your child, and alert the nurses’ station immediately—even if the person is dressed in hospital clothing or seems to have a good reason for being there. Since patients are not routinely allowed to leave the pediatric unit, please notify your nurse before leaving.

Your child’s safety is a priority, the pediatric department requires parents and visitors to have a security code to enter the department. Your security code will be issued at the time of admission to the unit.

Preventing Infections

For your child’s health—as well as your own—we urge family and visitors to follow our staff’s lead: Wash your hands often and thoroughly. For your convenience, there is a sink and soap in your child’s room.

You should wash your hands and your child’s hands:

  • Before eating

  • After using the bathroom

  • After blowing or wiping your nose

  • After changing dirty diapers

Visitor Policy

Parents are welcome in the Pediatric Department at any time. For your comfort, each of our pediatric rooms has a sleeper chair so that one parent can spend the night. We ask that no one sleep or lounge on the floor so that we have clear access to your child in the event of an emergency. Healthy siblings and all other visitors may visit from 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. but are restricted to two visitors at a time. A waiting area is available for additional visitors. Please note that children under 12 years of age visiting Memorial Hospital must be supervised by an adult at all times. Please note that visitors and age limits for visitors may be limited due to your child’s condition or admission to the PICU.

Please ask your visitors to call rather than visit if:

  • They don’t feel well

  • They have a fever or the flu

  • They have a cold or a sore throat

  • They have recently been exposed to and have never had chickenpox, measles, or mumps

Memorial is a latex-safe hospital. To further ensure the health and well-being of our patients, latex products may not be brought into the hospital, which includes latex balloons.

Smoking Policy

No Smoking is a hospital policy and it is strictly enforced due to the severity of our patients’ conditions. For the health of our patients, no smoking is allowed on any Memorial campus or facility.