Your doctor will request a hospital bed for your child. In the case of an emergency, beds are mostly available within an hour or two. Other types of admission depend on their urgency and the availability of the services your child needs in the hospital.
A child cannot be treated in hospital unless a parent or legal guardian signs the admission forms. The staff needs medical and other information about your child at the time he or she is admitted. It is important that the person with the child knows his or her background.
Nice to have
- BC Services Card
- Immunization records
- List of any medications, and the amounts, that your child is taking
- Braces, corrective shoes, crutches, glasses, hearing aid or other such appliances
- Loose fitting comfortable clothes for everyday wear (as soon as they are able, children are up and dressed)
- Pajamas, bathrobe, and slippers (the hospital can provide these if you prefer)
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Comb and brush
- A few favourite games, toys, books, hobby materials (play materials are available)
- School books, current school work and the name of your child’s school and teacher (teachers in the hospital will help your child keep up with schoolwork)
- Any toys or articles that are important to your child
Please label all of your own and your child’s items clearly. Do NOT bring to the hospital:
- Valuables of any kind such as jewelry or large sums of money
- Electrical appliances of any kind such as hairdryers, iPods, cell phones, radios or TV sets
Your child's greatest concern at this age is being away from you. Staying with your child as much as possible during the hospital stay will make your child feel more secure. Younger children, especially those under age three, often think that going to the hospital is a punishment for misbehaviour. Emphasize that this is not the case.
Encourage your child to express fears and concerns. Explain, in a way that the child can understand, why the hospital stay is necessary. PreschoolChildren in this age group fear damage to their bodies. Be careful when explaining what will take place. Avoid phrases that may have different meanings to a child. For example, your child may associate being put to sleep (when you explain surgical anesthesia) with a pet and think that he or she will die. Instead, say, “The doctors will help you take a nap for a few hours,” or another appropriate phrase. When talking about surgery say, “make an opening,” instead of “cut.” School-age childrenChildren older than six will worry about losing control as well as damage to their bodies. Your child may also worry about doing or saying embarrassing things while under anesthetic.
Be open. Don't deny that there will be pain after an operation, if this is the case. Explain that although it will hurt for a while, he or she will be made to feel as comfortable as possible.
TeenagersTeenagers are often reluctant to ask questions, leading you to believe they understand more than they actually do. Encourage your teenager to ask the doctors and nurses questions about his or her condition. Include your child in discussions about their care plan, to increase their sense of control.
Except in a few special areas, one parent may stay overnight with a child. We can usually provide a chair-bed. You should bring your own pillow and blanket from home (please label your belongings clearly). See our pamphlet called
Where Can I Find? if you need help finding your way around.