Talking to your child about hospitalization

Clinical Social Worker Kathryn Elison, MSW, shares advice for parents with a hospitalized child on the best way to talk with them about it
Advice For Talking To Kids About Their Hospitalization
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Talking to your child about hospitalization

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One of the most daunting tasks during your child's hospitalization is how to talk with them about it. You want to make sure to provide honest, clear, developmentally appropriate information to your child about their hospitalization. That way, they can be involved in their care and know what is going on, and be comforted by the information that you are providing them. In my experience, a child's imagination is always worse than reality. What you want to do is tell them what is actually happening and what will happen. That way, they can be comforted by your words. If you are struggling to find the words to have a conversation with your child about their hospitalization, you want to check with the additional supportive services are available. There are people that are specifically trained to help you in this process, such as, clinical social workers and child life specialists. They will be there to give you the words and walk you through this conversation, if you need additional support.

Clinical Social Worker Kathryn Elison, MSW, shares advice for parents with a hospitalized child on the best way to talk with them about it

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Kathryn Elison, MSW

Clinical Social Worker, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Kathryn Elison is a Clinical Social Worker at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She was drawn to her profession because of her passion to provide support to families experiencing a medical crisis. Kathryn accompanies her patients and their families during one of the most stressful journeys of their lives, helping them navigate through this challenge and supporting them each step of the way. A native of North Carolina, Kathryn moved to Los Angeles, CA after receiving a Master of Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In her free time, Kathryn enjoys exploring her new home state of California with her husband Jed and her dog Sallie.

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