As part of our commitment to family-centred care, we welcome children visiting patients.
Before visiting the hospital, it is helpful to:
- Spend some time talking to your children about that to expect when visiting hospital. This could include what the hospital looks like, how long you will stay, other patients in the room and what it smells like.
- Describe any changes in the patient’s appearance or mood.
- Reassure them that however they feel is OK (if you have any concerns you can ask to see one of the social workers at the hospital).
- Suggest they might like to bring a gift, a card or a drawing for the patient.
- Make sure they wash their hands before they come. You can use the hand sanitiser stations around the hospital.
- Check with one of our nurses if your child is unwell before they visit to see if it is safe for them to come.
During the hospital visit:
- Explain they can touch, kiss or hug their loved one is the patient is up to this
- Keep your visits brief if possible
- Bring some activities and a snack
After the hospital visit:
- Talk to your child after the visit to ask them what they thought and felt
- Was it what they expected?
- What do they remember most?
- Reassure them that it was great for their loved one to see them
This discussion will help the child to understand their feelings and thoughts and will help you plan their next visit.
If you have any questions or would like to speak with someone about your child’s visit to hospital, you can speak to your patient’s nurse or ask to speak to one of the hospital social workers.
For younger children:
- Dakota’s mom has to go to hospitably Anne Thiel
- When Mommy is sick by Ferne Sherikn-Langer
For children who have a loved one readmitted to hospital:
- When Pete’s dad got sick: A book about chronic illness by Kathleen Long Bostram
For children visiting the Intensive Care Unit (ICU):
- The University of Michigan Medical Centre video: med.umich.edu/careguides (type “visit ICU” in the search box).
Books to help adults understand how children and young people respond to having a loved one sick in hospital:
- When a parent is sick by Edna Le Shan
- How to help children through a parent’s serious illness by Kathleen McCue
Children friendly places to eat
There are a variety of cafes and restaurants in the area that can be accessed throughout the day and night for snacks and meals.
- Café Vincent’s: Located near the corner of Victoria Parade and Nicholson Street, this café has a large array of hot and cold foods, scnacks and beverages that can be eaten in the large cafeteria or taken away
- Red Engine Café: This small café has outdoor seating and is located in the central courtyard of St Vincent’s Hospital
- Gertrude, Brunswick and Smith streets: The hospital is surrounded by a number of cafes and restaurants that are ideal for teenagers