Elliot Health System is a non-profit organization serving your healthcare needs since 1890.

Preparing for Your Hospital Visit

How can I help my child be prepared for their visit to the hospital?

We recognize that as a parent, you know your child best. Through our experiences working with other children in the hospital, we’ve learned it is helpful to provide honest information to your child about their visit. When children know what to expect, they are able to cope positively with a new or stressful experience. Here are some of our resources that we find helpful when working with children.

The following materials can help prepare you and your child for their visit to the hospital.

Getting an MRI

Having Surgery

If you have concerns regarding your child’s upcoming visit that we can assist you with, you can contact Child Life Services at (603) 663-3416.

Take a Tour of our Pediatric Units:

  1. On our Pediatric/ Adolescent Unit, we have a playroom with toys, games, arts-and-crafts, and activities! If your child needs to spend some time at the hospital, we have age appropriate resources to promote a positive experience. If possible, we also encourage bringing a special comfort item from home.
  2. This is what one of the rooms in our Pediatric/Adolescent Unit looks like. Children/ adolescents have their own room and bathroom with a shower. While you are here, your child's care team can bring toys, activities, video games and movies to your room!
  3. In the middle of the unit is our Nurses' Station. Here, you can find members of your child’s care team.
  4. See if you can find this piece of art on the Pediatric/ Adolescent Unit!
  5. You might see nurses pushing one of these around in the hallways on the Pediatric/ Adolescent Unit. We call them C.O.W.'s (or Cart-on-Wheels). Each one looks like a different animal. How many different C.O.W. animals can you find in the hallway?
  6. Outside of the playroom, there is a fish tank full of live fish! How many fish can your child find?
  7. The Pediatric/ Adolescent Unit is a locked unit, meaning only children who are being cared for on this unit, along with their families and the staff can enter this unit. Since it is a locked unit, you will need to press the button next to the door to enter or exit the unit. A care team member at the desk can see you on a small camera and will ask, “Who are you here to see?” before allowing you onto the unit. This is another way we keep the children and families we care for safe during their time here.
  8. At Elliot Hospital, we have a Pediatric Emergency Department that is separate from the main Emergency Department. Here there are doctors, nurses, technicians and child life specialists who are specifically trained to work with children. This unit is a locked unit, meaning only children who are being cared for in the Pediatric Emergency Department, their families and the staff can enter.
  9. In the Pediatric Emergency Department, we have developmentally appropriate activities and movies to help normalize the hospital environment while your child is here. Your child will have their own room with a door, like the room pictured here.

What Should I Bring to the Hospital?

One of our main goals is to help normalize children’s stay at the hospital. This means making the environment feel as comfortable and home-like as possible. Doing so can help children cope positively with their time at the hospital. We’ve found it is helpful for children and families to bring…

  • A favorite stuffed animal
  • Blanket(s) from home
  • Pictures of family and friends to put in their room
  • Some of their favorite toys/ activities

For more resources on how to prepare for your hospital visit, check out the “Helpful Resources” tab.



Services for Siblings/ Children of Adult Patients

When one of your loved ones is hospitalized, sometimes it can be difficult to know how to tell the children in your life. We’re here to help! We are trained in the use of developmentally appropriate language to help children understand and cope with this experience. We can provide preparation prior to your child’s visit so they have a greater understanding of what to expect, we can provide resources to help them cope with this experience, and we can even coordinate a time to accompany you and your child during their visit.

Please ask your loved one’s nurse/ healthcare team to contact Child Life Services. We will work with you and your family to learn how we can best provide support.