Your child in hospital – your checklists

Make sure you’re armed with a list of questions and packed with all you need for your child’s stay in hospital


What questions should you ask?

Don’t feel that the nurses and doctors are so busy that you shouldn’t take up their time with your questions. 


You’ll only find out absolutely everything that you want to know about your child’s treatment if you ask.

It’s a good idea to write things down so you don’t forget them.

As a general guide, ask the following:

  • What will the treatment involve?
  • What’s the timeframe of the treatment?
  • How will the treatment help my child?
  • How will the treatment affect my child?
  • Is there anything that will hurt my child?
  • Will I be able to stay with my child?
  • Are there any alternative treatments, and if so, why is this one best for my child?
  • How good are the chances of success?
  • What are the risks?
  • What if the treatment doesn’t work?

What should you bring with you?

Most children’s wards have play areas with books, videos and toys to keep kids entertained, so you won’t need to bring a suitcase full of stuff yourself.

However, you will need:

  • Changes of clothes and pyjamas, for your child and for you if you are staying with him
  • Your child’s favourite toy or comforter
  • A couple of your child’s favourite books plus paper and a few crayons to colour with
  • Toiletries, toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Any medicines your child takes
  • Milk and bottles if your baby is bottle-feeding
  • Your child’s ‘Red book’ if he is under 5
  • A notebook and pen to write down any instructions, useful information or questions you need to ask
  • Supply of nappies, wipes and nappy sacks
  • Enough money for the hospital car park if you’re driving – the parking fees can be very high if you’re there for many hours or days
  • Small change in case you need to buy telephone cards or TV cards
  • Water and snacks for yourself and possibly for your child if he’s able to have food and liquids
  • Your appointment letter, and your diary to note down future appointments

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