What to tell your child
Your child’s age can guide how and when you tell your child about an upcoming hospital stay:
- You should wait until a day or two before the hospital stay to tell a preschool child. He or she has a more limited concept of time.
- Older children should be given as much notice as possible. They should be encouraged to ask questions and participate in preparations.
See our Tips for Parents for help with this important conversation.
For children who are having surgery, the Bud E. Bear Pre-Operative Education Program helps prepare children and their parents.
What to bring to the hospital
Although we supply what your child needs for the hospital stay, items from home can make him or her more comfortable. Here are some instructions to note:
- Please bring medications and/or a list of medications that your child is taking. After your child is admitted and the medications have been noted on your child’s record, please take the medications home. We will supply and manage all medications while your child is hospitalized.
- We supply a hospital gown, but your child may feel more comfortable in clothes from home, such as a nightgown or pajamas, robe, and slippers.
- You may wish to bring favorite belongings, such as toys, stuffed animals, photographs, or a blanket. Please be sure to label personal property with your child’s name.
- As long as your child is on a regular diet, family and friends are welcome to bring food from home. Ask your nurse where you can refrigerate and store your food.
- You are welcome to bring food from the Sunshine Cafe to your child’s room.
What NOT to bring to the hospital
There are, however, some items that are best left at home:
- Parents and visitors are asked to not bring latex (rubber) balloons into the hospital. These balloons can be a serious safety and health hazard, including life-threatening allergic reactions, for children and staff. Mylar (shiny, metallic) balloons are permitted and are available in the Starflower Gift Shop.
- Please check with your child’s nurse before bringing radios, video games, curling irons, or hair dryers to your child’s room.
- We recommend you leave valuables at home. If you must bring something valuable with you to McLane Children’s Hospital, call 254-935-4066 and Scott & White Security can place personal valuables in a safe.
What to expect when you arrive
When your child is admitted to McLane Children’s Hospital Scott & White, you can expect that:
- The admitting nurse will ask you about your child’s health history, including past illnesses and allergic reactions to medications and food.
- The nurse will measure your child’s height, weight, temperature, pulse, and blood pressure.
- The nurse and a physician will perform a general physical exam, which can sometimes include additional tests.
What if you have no time to prepare your child?
An emergency can mean that you have no time to prepare yourself or your child for the hospital experience. This can be extremely stressful and confusing. Our staff will do everything we can to help you and your child cope. Please remember:
- You are vital to your child as a source of reassurance, comfort, and love. You are also your child’s most important advocate and spokesperson.
- The information you provide to hospital staff about your child’s health history is crucial.
- You are the decision-maker in your child’s medical care.
- You may feel scared, angry, exhausted, frustrated, impatient, guilty, helpless, and numb. It’s normal to feel these emotions.
- You are not alone. We are here to help you and your child. Please let us know what you need.