Staying in a hospital can be a stressful time for children and their families. We do everything possible to provide a comfortable environment for you and your child.

If your child is scheduled to stay in the hospital you will receive an admission letter from the hospital outlining where you are to go and what time.

Please take special note of whether your child is allowed to eat or drink prior to arrival.

Below is a list of things you'll need to bring with you and what amenities are available for your convenience.

Overnight stay

As parents, you are the most familiar, trusted people in your child's life. The more involved you can be in the care of your child, the more secure your child will feel with the hospital routines and procedures. Depending on the child's age, whenever possible take responsibility for routines such as bathing, feeding, dressing, and settling to sleep. The nurses will be happy to discuss any special instructions with you. 

We provide a bed in the room for the caregiver of every child. Each room is equipped with its own ensuite, TV and telephone that the family can use. We also provide meals for one caregiver free of charge.

What to bring?

Bring pyjamas, comfortable clothing, a favourite toy, a game or a book (toys, books, games, TV and DVDs are provided by the hospital).

Preparation for surgery

Should your child require surgery your child's nurse will advise you on how the health care team can assist you to prepare your child for surgery.

Each child's needs will differ and the hospital staff will work with you to help both you and your child understand what will happen and what you can do to help your child manage events. 

Play and recreation programmes

Play and recreation are central to every child's sense of well-being and development. Because play and learning are normal activities for children, we know that it is important that this can continue during their hospital stay.

Hospital Play Specialists provide the play and recreation programme in the playroom or at the bedside, to meet the emotional, social, physical and intellectual needs of hospitalised children. A wide range of activities including play, arts and crafts, games and stories are available. Through selected activities such as healthcare play, children can gain an understanding of their illness and treatments and develop skills to manage hospitalisation.

The playroom is a nil-by-mouth (non-eating and drinking) area and a non-treatment area. This provides a developmentally safe area for children to be in. Parents and family members are welcome to join in activities in the playroom or you may use this time to take a break.  

Playroom Hours:

  • Monday - Friday 9am - 3pm (All children) Programme emphasis is on under eight-year-olds.
  • Monday - Friday 3pm - 4pm (All children) Programme emphasis is on adolescents and young people. If younger children wish to use the playroom at this time, we ask that an adult stays with them.
  • Siblings are welcome in the playroom at any time. See the Play Specialist about your visitors’ children going to the playroom. This can be by arrangement only. 

School programme

School is an important part of the life of a child. The Hospital School recognises this and addresses the special learning needs of the hospitalised school-age child.  The classroom and the principal’s office is located on the Ground Floor of Kidz  First™ in the main corridor. Qualified teachers are available for long-term school-age patients (primary and secondary) admitted to the hospital. They will provide continuity to your child's schooling with high-interest activities including computer programmes, exploring the internet, cooking, art and individualised maths, reading and language programmes.

Secondary students will continue in their chosen subject areas as appropriate. The school is a registered site for the sitting of external school exams. If your child is unable to return to school in the week following discharge from the hospital, please ask your child's hospital teacher for information on the home-to-school support programme. Your child's regular school can be contacted if necessary. 

Hospital parking

Parking is limited on-site however there is a drop-off or pick-up area outside the Kidz First entrance as well as some parking spaces for parents. You must display a parking permit to use these carpark spaces or risk your car being towed.

The carpark permits are only issued to parents/caregivers of patients who are in Kidz First. You are not guaranteed a car park space if parking spaces have all been taken.

There is paid parking available around the hospital.  More information available for hospital car parks.

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