How to Prepare

After determining your child needs to go to the ER, it's normal to be nervous about a visit to the hospital. But if your child knows what to expect, they’ll feel less anxious, and so will you. Here are a few tips to consider:

  • First, reassure the child that the ER is a safe place and the medical staff is going to help their body feel better.
  • Let you child know you’ll be with them the entire time.
  • Pack some things to pass the time while you wait, such as books, electronic games with chargers, comforting blankets or special toys. Snacks and drinks are OK too if the medical staff approves based on the child’s condition.
  • Delegate responsibility for other children by contacting family or neighbors who can help with school runs or babysitting while you are at the ER. That way you can give your child in need your full attention.
  • Write down and keep handy a list of medications your child takes, along with any allergies or previous procedures.
  • Don’t forget your insurance card and pediatrician contact information.
  • Pack a change of clothes for you and your child in case the visit results in hospital admission.