PAAMG Pediatric Care Tips: Helping Children Of Different Ages

Welcome! A child understands things based on his age and developmental level. You probably have many ideas of your own. Below are some of our tips that you might find helpful to prepare your child before their visit to Providence Alaska Medical Center.

Need to have familiar objects around them at the hospital. Bring along your child’s favorite toy, blanket or other comfort items. A family member or friend can be with your child during visiting hours if you must be away from the hospital or need a break.
As a child gets older, they can be told they are going to the hospital and what will happen there. It is important to let them express their feelings. Give clear and simple responses. Saying “I’ll bet your wondering what it’s going to be like at the hospital, aren’t you?” rather than, “How do you feel?” will encourage them to talk.

Let them be the doctor to a doll or stuffed toy. They can “operate” on it, give it “shots” or just apply a Band-Aid. They might express their feelings more clearly while playing than if you ask them directly.

Reassure your child that you’ll stay with them when you can and that other people will take care of them if you can’t be there.

Are able to understand more information about their surgery, but that doesn’t mean they completely understand. They may, however, be reluctant to ask questions.

Encourage your teenager to talk to their doctors and nurses about their condition. Be sure they are included in discussions and decisions about their care so that they will feel independent and more in control.

Your teen may be worried about their privacy. Reassure them that the hospital staff will treat them with respect.

Even at this age, a familiar object, journal, video or favorite tape or CD can help your teen feel calmer at the hospital.

When appropriate, encourage visits from their friends for peer support.