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. Please refer to the link below for a photo tour accompanied with child appropriate language. Should you like to speak with a child life specialist in advance or to request a surgery tour please call 832-826-1650 or email Please allow 2-3 business days to return phone calls or e-mails.

Surgery photo tour

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 area has a playroom with various toys, movies, board games and activities for children of all ages. These items can also be provided to the patient’s room. 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 for all ages 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 West Tower inpatient room. Families can bring games from home or check out games and controllers from their inpatient floor. The Child Life department also offers weekly programming and events such as music therapy and art therapy group.

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. For the overall health and safety of our patients, guests under the age of 18 may be restricted during certain times of the year. Please check with your bedside nurse if there are any visitation restrictions in place.

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

Free Wi-Fi access is available throughout the hospital for patients and families using their personal devices. In the Pi Beta Phi Patient and Family Library’s family resource room, patients and families can utilize computers with internet access, printers, a FAX machine and a copy machine.

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. School coordinators are available to discuss how to best address your child’s academic needs.

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 or talking with teachers for any additional education for classmates as a child transitions back to school