How to prepare for your child's hospital stay 

A practical guide on how to prepare for your child going into hospital, including information on what to bring and the facilities available for both parents and children. Facilities may vary from one hospital to another – this video uses Royal Alexandra Children's Hospital in Brighton as an example.

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Transcript of How to prepare for your child's hospital stay

Hello, my name is Corryn Bedlow.

I'm the ward sister for day case unit and outpatients

at the Royal Alexandra Children's Hospital in Brighton.

Bringing your child into hospital,

we would say that you try and prepare them as much as you possibly can.

This can be explaining to them in a language that they understand

about their hospital,

trying to be honest with them and open about what to expect.

The facilities in a hospital are usually that a ward will have bays,

which will be open areas with beds in them and cots.

Your child will have either their own bed or their own cot

and if you do have to stay overnight

there are usually parent facilities next to your child's bed

so that you are able to sleep the night with your child.

There are also playrooms for your child to go and play.

There's usually parent facilities, a parents' kitchen

where you can store your food and have tea and coffee and things like that.

By the bedsides there are sometimes TVs.

If not, then the ward will have tellies and DVDs and PlayStations,

things like that that your child can usually use.

When you're coming into hospital,

what we advise you to bring for both yourself and your children

are extra clothes, nappies, pyjamas,

any special teddies or comforters that you need,

any specific medication.

If they're on milk then to bring in their milk and bottles,

and also if they're fed specially

to bring in the equipment that you would use at home.

We do advise for parents to bring in their own food for themselves

and if your child has any special dietary or religious requirements

that you speak to the nurse that's looking after you,

or we do advise that you bring it in from home.

We understand that bringing your child into hospital

is a worrying and stressful time,

but we'd like to reassure parents

that the staff will try and reduce the anxiety and the stress for you

as much as we possibly can during your stay in hospital.

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