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'What Facilities To Expect If Your Child Goes To Stay In Hospita

At the very least you should be able to stay with your child as much as possible (this is Department of Health policy). The hospital may provide a chair, mattress or folding bed for you to sleep on. This may not necessarily be next to your child's bed. Most hospitals do not have strictly enforced visiting hours for parents, and you should be able to give your child his or her meals, bath etc. There should be access for parents to washing facilities, use of a sitting room, kitchen, toilets, telephone and restaurant.

Children's ward kitchens often have supplies of breakfast cereals, baked beans etc for children who do not like hospital food. There should be provision for children from ethnic minorities who have preferences in relation to food, washing and bathing and clothing. There should also be every encouragement for mothers to breast feed their baby and space to do so in privacy.

If you are not able to be with your child as much as you would like, you can tell the ward sister about any food fads, comfort habits, special words etc. that your child has. Most hospitals allow children to wear their own clothes as much as possible, and also to bring in their own toys.

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