Before You Arrive

Things to Do Once You Have Scheduled

If your child is coming to Seattle Children’s for a surgery, procedure, or hospital stay, you will have some things to take care of before you come.

Call your insurance company

Check with your insurance company to see if you need a second opinion for planned or elective surgery.

Read your Before Surgery/Procedure checklist

Once your child's surgery is scheduled, you will receive a checklist in the mail. This includes all of the important things you will need to do before your child's surgery or procedure, including instructions about medicines, food and drink, anesthesia and location.

Arrange for a place to stay, food and transportation

If your child is spending the night at in the hospital, you will want to look at sleeping, transportation and food options. If you need help finding a place to stay or transportation in Seattle or Bellevue, contact Guest Services.

To get help with transportation, a place to stay, or for questions about your visit, contact Guest Services.

To learn more about hospital campus amenities, see the Hospital Campus Visitor and Family Guide.

Arrange child care for siblings

Day procedure

The length and nature of your visit may make it difficult for young children to attend. If children attend, we recommend bringing another adult to supervise.

We have free playrooms for patients and their brothers and sisters ages 3 to 11 who are toilet-trained (no Pull-Ups) at our hospital campus and Bellevue locations.

Staying overnight and in the hospital

Siblings are not allowed to stay overnight. You will need to make other child care arrangements.

To find out when siblings and others can visit, see our Visitor Policy.

Tell us about your religious, cultural beliefs, access or other special needs

Let us know about cultural beliefs or unique needs that may affect you child's treatment and care.


We offer free interpreters for Deaf and hard-of-hearing, and non-English languages. We should have arranged them when you scheduled.


If you need a wheelchair when you arrive, let us know at 206-987-3360.

To learn more, visit our Accessibilty and Special Needs section.

Get legal papers, if needed

Birth or adoptive parents do not need to bring a birth certificate or any other legal papers.

  • If you are a legal guardian, we will need to see the legal papers that say so.
  • If you are the parent, but do not have legal custody, we will need to see the legal papers that allow you to make healthcare decisions for your child.
  • If you do not have the legal papers we need to see, call our Social Work Department at 206-987-2760 (voice) or 206-987-5186 (TTY) for help.

Send medical records

If requested, ask your child's doctor (s) to send medical records, X-rays or test results to the hospital.

Get insurance authorization

Ask your insurance company if you need a managed-care referral from your child's primary doctor and/or preauthorization for your child's hospital stay.

To learn more, visit our Insurance section. For questions, call Seattle Children’s Insurance Processing Department at 206-987-5757.

Fax managed-care insurance referral

If you need a managed-care referral, ask your child's doctor to fax us at 206-985-3297. To find out if you need one, contact your insurance company.

Important: Make sure Seattle Children’s receives the insurance referral at least two business days before your child's admission.

To learn more, visit our Insurance section. For questions, call Seattle Children’s Insurance Processing Department at 206-987-5757.

Apply for financial assistance

Find out more about financial assistance.

Things to Do the Day Before a Surgery or Procedure

Find out the time and get eating and drinking instructions

You should receive a phone call from Seattle Children's before your child's surgery or procedure with eating and drinking instructions, location and time.

For a surgery or procedure at the Seattle Hospital Campus:

If you do not hear from us 2 business days before your child's surgery, call the Surgery Center at 206-987-7890.

For a surgery/procedure at the Bellevue Clinic and Surgery Center:

If you do not hear from us 3 business days before the surgery, call the Bellevue Surgery Center Nurse Line at 206-884-9200.

Give your child a bath

If you were given the Hibiclens cleanser, follow the instructions your provider gave you. Pay special attention to the surgical site (avoiding eyes, ears and mouth).

Check for illness

If your child becomes ill one week before surgery:

  • Call your child's specialty clinic. The clinic’s name will be on your Before Surgery/Procedure Checklist you received in the mail.

Hospital Campus Visitor and Family Guide

To find out about directions, food, visiting and other hospital neighborhood services at the Seattle location, see the Hospital Campus Visitor and Family Guide.