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Thank you for subscribing to Children's Health, an Avera eNewsletter that provides you with useful information about maintaining a healthy lifestyle for children. To learn more about our services, community events, or to find a physician, visit www.Avera.org.

To your health,

The Avera Staff


Having a child at the hospital for a procedure or surgery can be a nerve-racking time for both children and parents. Not only are children's routines disrupted, but also they may have fears about the experience that they may have difficulty articulating. Being prepared for hospitalization can help allay worries for both you and your children.

• Work with hospital staff members. You know your children best, and you know how they like to be comforted. Determine with staff members how much you will be involved throughout the experience.

• Visit the facility with your child before the hospitalization. This will help your child feel more comfortable with the environment and health care providers.

• Bring your child's favorite toys, books or stuffed animals. Include your child in packing for the hospital.

• Talk honestly but simply with your child about the experience.

• If you have other children, be sure to keep them updated on your child's hospitalization.

• See if your hospital has staff members who specialize in working with children. They will be prepared to answer your questions and meet your child's needs.

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The following are some suggestions to help your child feel more comfortable during a hospital stay.

• Stay during the hospitalization as much as possible. Having a parent at the hospital helps a child heal.

• If you can't be with your child throughout an entire hospitalization, talk to the child about why you have to leave and when you'll be back.

• Call your child periodically when you do need to be away.

• Give your child an object that makes him or her feel secure, such as a stuffed animal.

• Keep photos of your family near your child.

• Talk to a staff member if you are worried about your child's feelings or health during hospitalization.

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In Great Health online archive.