Learn how to prepare and what to expect during your child's hospital stay, and get tips to ease their fears, all from the comfort of your home.
You can also look up visiting hours and guidelines, and explore on-site conveniences.
What to Bring to the Hospital
Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before your child’s appointment or admission or follow the instructions given to you by your child’s provider. We want you to have extra time to beat traffic, find a parking spot, or fill out paperwork.
When you check in, you will need to:
- Show your driver’s license or another form of photo ID.
- Show your health insurance card, if you are insured.
- Pay any required insurance co-payment (if applicable).
- Confirm certain information. This may include your home address, child’s date of birth, emergency contact information, or the name of your child’s doctor.
Once you check in, you will meet with a member of our care team. Depending on the reason for your visit, you may need to provide:
- A copy of your child’s medical records or X-rays.
- Any forms your doctor asked you to fill out and bring with you.
- A list of your child’s current prescription and over-the-counter medicines.
We know it is hard for kids to wait or sit still. Don’t forget to bring a book, tablet, favorite toy, snacks, or other necessities to help pass the time.
Help your child by setting expectations.
Your child may feel comfortable seeing their regular doctor when they are sick or need a checkup. But the hospital might seem like a scary place, especially if this will be your child’s first visit.
You can help your child have a positive experience by explaining why they are going to the hospital and what to expect. Be honest, but use simple language they can understand.
Give your child time to process their feelings and ask questions.
If your child is under three years old, talk to them two or three days before their appointment or admission. Talk to children ages four to seven about a week beforehand. And children ages eight or older should be told a few weeks ahead of time. Older children can also take part in certain decisions about their care.
Read your child a book about going to the hospital.
Some childhood favorites include:
- Curious George Goes to the Hospital by Margret and H.A. Rey
- Clifford Visits the Hospital by Normal Bridwell
- The Berenstain Bears Hospital Friends by Mike Berenstain
Take a tour of the hospital.
Members of our Child Life team will walk you and your child through the hospital. Your tour will include specific areas where your child will receive care.
We can also answer your child’s questions and give you advice for helping them cope. Schedule your tour by calling 215-427-5321.
Let your child bring a comfort from home.
It is helpful if you bring their favorite stuffed animal, “blankie,” or another comfort item with them to the hospital.