Frequently Asked Questions

How do I talk to my child about going to the hospital?

Be honest with your child. When explaining a trip to the hospital, be mindful of your child’s developmental age. It is often thought that children are too scared to hear about the hospital. Research suggests, however, children are more likely to adjust and cope more effectively with their medical experiences if they are prepared in an honest and developmentally appropriate manner.

What is a surgery tour? How can I arrange one for my child?

A surgery tour explains the surgery process to your child using developmentally appropriate language and helps him or her understand the process and know what to anticipate. A surgery tour can be scheduled with a child life specialist by calling 832-826-1650 or emailing

What should I bring to the hospital for my child?

We encourage parents to bring familiar items for their children. For younger children, these may include favorite toys, stuff animals, pajamas, pacifiers and other comfort items. For older children and adolescents, favorite items may include video games, movies, books or music. Patients of all ages can benefit from having pictures of family members, pets or friends placed at bedside.

Will my child be able to play while she is in the hospital?

Absolutely! Each inpatient unit has a playroom with various toys, movies, board games and activities for children of all ages. Additionally, patient and siblings (ages 6+) can participate in activities on the 16th floor in the Child Life Zone. There is also a patient/family library on the 16th floor with books, movies and games that can be used in the library or checked out and taken to a patient's room. Additionally, there is also a game system in every inpatient room. Families can bring games from home or check out games and controllers from their inpatient floor.

Can brothers and sisters visit the hospital?

Regular inpatient floors allow visitation, and we encourage well siblings  to visit as often as possible. However, because of the importance of sleep for patients, we encourage only parents to spend the night. Child Life Specialists are available to provide support, education, and assistance to siblings regarding their brother or sister’s hospitalization. In critical care areas (PICU, CVICU), siblings and visitors are welcome at bedside; however, please speak with your nurse to learn more about additional requirements for visitation. Sibling visits for younger children can be arranged with the Child Life Specialist(s) for that unit.

Will I be able to access the internet while at the hospital?

The internet can be accessed on the 16th floor in the Pi Beta Phi Patient/Family Library. Free Wi-Fi access is also available throughout the hospital for patients and families using their phones or laptops.

If my child is going to be admitted for an extended period of time, what should I do about school work?

If patients are medically able, we encourage them to maintain regular school work habits while in the hospital through our Hospital School Program.

How can my child readjust to school after a hospital stay?

Before patients are discharged from the hospital, child life specialists can prepare patients and families for school re-entry by coaching them on how to talk to friends about their hospitalization. If patients have a chronic diagnosis, child life specialists can help with school re-entry by speaking with teachers or making a school visit to help the patient’s classmates understand your child’s diagnosis.