What to expect

Being in the hospital and away from home is a big change from the normal family routine. At Edward-Elmhurst Health, our experienced pediatric staff understands this and will do everything possible to put you and your child at ease.

If, at any time, during your stay you feel we are not meeting your expectations, please let us know so we can fix it. Read on to learn more about what to expect during your stay and how you can help your child through the experience.

Family-centered care

We recommend that you stay with your child while he or she is in the hospital. In fact, most children prefer that a loved one stays with them.

Parents may stay around the clock. A sleeper chair is provided in each room for one parent to spend the night. For longer stays, the Ronald McDonald Family Room provides a home-like atmosphere, with a family room and sleep rooms for families of patients.

If you have to leave the hospital at any time, please make sure your child and the nurses know when you will be back and how to reach you.

Information for visitors

While parents may stay with their child around the clock, please limit other visitors. Siblings may visit during visiting hours and must be supervised at all times. For everyone’s safety, all visitors must have had no fever, vomiting or diarrhea in the last 24 hours, and no exposure to contagious diseases.

Talk with your child

Your child may be frightened by all the new sights, people and sounds, so it’s important to let your child know what is going to happen, and to tell the truth about it using age-appropriate words.

Children often think of things in a different way from what is really going to happen. Let your child know that it is always okay to ask questions, cry or talk about their feelings. Reassure your child that they will be going home as soon as they are well enough.

Maintain routine care

Your child knows you and the way you feed, bathe and care for him or her. To help your child feel more comfortable during his or her stay, try to maintain this routine care while you’re in the hospital. You can feed your child their favorite foods, change diapers and bathe them. It’s also important to be with your child for tests and procedures, especially stressful ones like drawing blood.

Prevent the spread of germs

To protect your child’s health, we ask you and your visitors to wash your hands, and your child’s hands, often and thoroughly. For your convenience, there is a sink and soap in your child’s room. You should wash your hands before eating, after using the bathroom, after changing dirty diapers, and after blowing or wiping your nose.

Your child’s doctor may recommend putting your child in isolation to avoid spreading germs. If this happens, we can explain what isolation is and answer your questions.

Safety and security

Your child’s safety is of utmost importance to us. All hospital staff members wear photo ID badges with the hospital logo. Whenever anyone enters your room, check to see that they are wearing an ID badge. Do not allow your child to go with anyone who does not have an ID badge.

Also be sure to let your nurse know if you are leaving the floor and when you will be returning. For the protection of our younger patients, ages 7 and under, a “Hugs” bracelet will be provided at admission.

The Pediatric Unit is locked, which requires a staff member to screen all visitors before allowing access. A camera system allows visualization of all unit entry points. Our staff is also trained annually on all principles regarding infant/child abduction.

Going home

When your child is feeling better and is ready to go home, your child’s nurse will review discharge instructions with you, including any medications, physician follow-up appointments, etc., and answer any questions you might have.