Your Child's Hospital Stay

Going Home

Caring for Your Child at Home

Throughout your child's hospital stay, you and your child's nurse or other care provider will plan for them to leave the hospital (their discharge) and the care they will need at home. If your child had a surgery or procedure, there will be special recovery instructions to follow.

Before leaving, ask your nurse and provider questions to make sure you feel comfortable to care for your child at home. If your child needs special home care equipment or home nursing, your child's nurse will help you arrange it.

Before your child goes home, plan to talk to:

  • Your child's nurse about activity levels for your child, how to care for them at home, medications, therapies or follow-up appointments
  • Your child's teacher about homework assignments and returning to school
  • The school nurse about your child's condition and healthcare needs, and any necessary steps to take to arrange for returning to school
  • Your child care provider about your child's condition and returning to a care schedule
  • Your friends and family about help you may need, such as care after returning home or help with transportation home

    Changes in Your Child’s Behavior

    You may notice changes in your child's behavior when they return home from the hospital. These might include changes in sleep patterns or fear of being away from you.

    Your child may also show behavior from an earlier age like thumb-sucking, temper tantrums or changes in toilet training. These are usually temporary.

    Encourage your child to talk about their time in the hospital and reassure them that a hospital stay or surgery can be upsetting. If changes in behavior continue for 6 weeks or more, talk with your child's doctor.