Preparing your child for hospital

Preparing your child for a stay in hospital will make the time you spend with us a better experience for your child and your family.

What to tell your child

If your child is coming in for surgery, it is best to tell them the truth about why they are coming to hospital.
Telling your child prior to their admission provides them with time to ask questions and to increase their understanding of what is going to happen.


If you have a young child or infant, use simple language that doesn’t make them fearful. Remind your child that the nurses are going to look after them and care for them. Young children can benefit from role play, using dolls or toys you can put on bandages or band aids, like they might have in hospital.

If you are not sure what to say, or how to answer questions, you can call the hospital on 99286855.

Read our My Visit To Hospital Story

Many children benefit from reading our story about what is going to happen when they come to hospital.

Prior to reading through the story with your child we encourage parents to download and read through our Parents and Carers Information Fact Sheet below:

Download the Parents and Carers Information Fact Sheet here (PDF 181.9KB)

Once you have read through the fact sheet sit down with your child and read through our My Visit story below:


Download the My Visit To Hospital Story here (PDF 3.1MB)

The story has been written to show the entire process of a surgical visit from start to finish and is designed to provide your child with information to help make them both aware and comfortable with the process.

You can also sit down with your child and watch our My Visit to Hospital Video below:

Your Admission

Upon arrival, please present to the main reception desk located in the foyer on the ground floor of the hospital. Here you will complete some paperwork, once your paperwork is completed you can take the lift or the stairs to the 3rd floor.

Please be aware that admission time is not the time of your surgery and that you may have to wait some time to go to theatre. It is a good idea to bring favourite things from home to help with distraction. There is a TV in your bedroom and children can utilise the play area etc.

On arrival you will be shown to your room, however on occasion during busy times you may be directed to wait in the waiting room until your room is available. One of our friendly nurses will take you and your child through the admission process. An arm band identifying your child will be placed on their wrist or ankle.

Fasting and Food

Your doctor will have requested your child fast before admission, please ensure you follow the guidelines provided to you, if you have any questions please contact your anaesthetist.

Food will be provided for your child post operatively and you will be given a menu to fill out if you are staying overnight or a sandwich preference if your child is only staying for the day.

If your child has specific dietary requirements please discuss this with your nurse, alternatively you can bring in food from home.

What to wear

Children can wear their own pyjamas or loose clothing to theatre. Children over 12yrs will be required to wear a gown, sometimes younger children will be asked to wear a gown depending on the type of surgery they are having. Please speak with your nurse to confirm what your child is required to wear for their particular surgery.

Going to surgery

When your child goes to theatre, their parent and carer will go with them. This is a legal requirement for all children under 18 years of age.

It is important that you discuss with your child prior to your arrival that only one parent will accompany them to theatre.

When it is your time to go to theatre a nurse will escort you and your child to the holding bay of theatre, here you will be asked the same questions as the admission process. This is to ensure your child’s safety at all times.  You will then accompany your child into the anaesthetic room and be with your child until they are asleep. At this time you will be escorted out and shown to the lift. You can wait in your room or in the cafe.

After surgery

Once your child is in the recovery area you will be notified and a nurse will take you down to be with your child. Your child will have a drip in their hand or foot when they come back from surgery; this is to assist with rehydration or drug administration. The drip will be taken out on the day of discharge.


The doctor and nurses will discuss your discharge. You will receive discharge information from your surgeon, together with instructions regarding follow up appointments. The nursing staff will also provide you with written discharge advice. The pharmacist will see you prior to you going home to discuss your child’s medications (if any are required).

Medical\carers certificates

If you require a medical or carers certificate on the day please discuss this with your surgeon. Nursing staff are unable to provide these for you.