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Preparing for Your Child's Hospital Stay

You already know that Kentucky Children's Hospital is a leader in caring for children. But our innovative approach isn't just about the most advanced technology and medicine. We work with specialists, families and patients to make sure that your child's visit at Kentucky Children's is as comfortable and stress-free as possible. We have dedicated hospitalists on staff - your personal hospital specialist who coordinates your child's care.Kentucky Children's Hospital lobby

Hospitals can be a scary place even if a child knows that their visit is to help them get well. That's why we've made Kentucky Children's Hospital kid-friendly in every way! To see get a first look at our facilities, view our online tour.

Pre-registration: To speed things up, you can pre-register for you child's visit by calling 859-257-3698 (7 a.m. - 8 p.m. Monday - Friday).

What to bring and where to go for registration: Your first stop at Kentucky Children's will be the Main Information Desk on the first floor in the main lobby of UK Hospital. Here you'll fill out registration forms so we can begin a medical chart and set up your child's medical team. Information you'll need for your visit:

  • Insurance cards and information.
  • Social Security numbers for you and your child.
  • Complete list of your child's medication with dosages and times.
  • Get directions to the hospital.

How to prepare your child for a hospital stay:

  • Be honest. When your child asks about the surgery or treatments, tell them the truth. It's important that your child trust you, so be as honest as you can be about their visit.
  • Educate yourself. If you don't know the answers, research an online health topic library that describes different illnesses and treatments.
  • Take a tour of the hospital.
  • Make the hospital a home away from home. Bring your child's favorite toys and clothes. We've provided a complete list of what to bring below.

What to bring to the hospital: We want your child to feel at home at Kentucky Children's Hospital so we encourage you to bring favorite toys and clothes. And make sure to put your child's name on everything you bring, just in case.

  • Eyeglasses
  • Contact lenses (& solution)
  • Pajamas, robe, slippers
  • Favorite blanket and/or pillow
  • Dental appliances (retainers)
  • Toiletries (toothbrush, shampoo, soap)
  • Favorite movies and video games
  • Anything else that will make your child feel more comfortable

What NOT to bring to the hospital:

  • Medication, unless your doctor tells you to
  • Small appliances (like hair dryers, curling irons, coffee pots, etc.) should be left at home
  • Pets

About relatives staying overnight: The most important thing to a child's health is family. So we make sure parents and family are involved in every step of their child's treatment. Every child has a private room with a cot so a parent can stay with them overnight. We also have sleeping rooms for parents of critically ill children. Other options:

  • The Ronald McDonald House at 550 Cooper Drive (phone: 859-268-0757 or 859-268-1651) offers a place to stay for families of critically ill children. To stay you'll need a hospital referral. You can call Social Services at 859-323-5501 or Pastoral Care at 859-323-5301 for more information. Occupancy of the Ronald McDonald House is limited to patients or families of patients who are 18 years of age or younger. Only one room is available per family. A minimal nightly donation is requested.
  • We also have a list of other nearby places to stay. Many motels offer discounts to patient families, so make sure to ask about it when you make your reservations.

Dining: Please see our web page on dining resources.

Medication: DO bring a list of your child's medications with doses and times. DO NOT bring your child's medications with you unless your doctor tells you to. Our nurses and pharmacists will make sure your child gets the right medicine at the right time. Please let us know if your child has a special way to take their medicine so we can make him or her as comfortable as we possibly can. See also, Parents' Guide to Pediatric Sedation