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For Parents

Outpatient Clinics Welcome Letters

We would like to take a moment to welcome you as a new patient to one of our outpatient clinics at the Alberta Children's Hospital. As an important member of our health care team, we look forward to partnering with you. If you are a new patient we would like to share some information with you. If you have visited us before, please consider these friendly reminders.

Preparing Your Child

A hospital stay can be difficult for children. Your child may have a tough time understanding why he or she has to stay in hospital.

Here are some suggestions to help prepare your child for a visit to the hospital.

  • Discuss the visit with your child in advance. It will help if you describe the hospital as a place where he or she will be helped or made well. Be honest about where your child is going, and about how long he or she may have to stay
  • When you come to the hospital, bring some of your child's favourite things from home such as blankets, stuffed animals, and sippy cups.
  • Ensure your child's belongings, packed in a small suitcase or backpack
  • Bring any medications your child may need including an inhaler, diabetic, seizure, or heart medications (please see section on Staying in Hospital for more on what to bring your child).
  • Ensure you have your child's Alberta Health Care card.

Arriving at the Hospital

  • Please label your child's belongings and leave valuable items at home, and please remember the hospital is not responsible for lost or stolen property.
  • Child Life specialists and nursing staff can help you prepare for your child's hospitalization and for settling into hospital once your child is admitted.

Being Away from Your Child

We encourage your to stay with your child as much as possible, but also recognize parents have many responsibilities and demands on their time.

We understand if you have to go to work, if you have other children at home, or if you simply need a good night's sleep to cope with an ill child.

It's common for children to cry and feel upset when their parents leave. There are things you can do to help your child through the separation.

  • Be sure your child understands the separation is only temporary
  • Be honest about when you will return and do your best to be back when you say you will
  • It often helps younger children if they keep something that belongs to you, such as a scarf, until you return
  • Make your child's nurse aware of your child's distress