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Recovery From Hospitalization - Children

Recovering emotionally from the hospital stay means that your child will need to relive what has happened to him. For older children, reliving is done by talking about the hospital. Younger children want to play out their experiences using various toys and medical play kits. You may help your child by talking and playing with him.

The following chart outlines some additional phases your child may experience.

  Discharge From Hospital

Child’s Interaction With:

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3


Quiet play at home

Phone calls from friends

Non-strenuous play outside

Seeking out friends for play

Getting back to chores with help from siblings

Regular play and activities

Not relying on siblings for help with household chores


Clinging to parents/familiar surroundings

Disrupted sleeping and eating schedules

Temporary loss of independent behavior/skills

Needing to periodically “touch base” with parents

Expecting continuation of extra privileges/gifts

Normal interaction with parents

Return to normal “rules” and independent behavior/skills


Visits/presents from special relatives

Phone calls from other relatives

Short visits of friends at child’s home

Easy trips to relative’s home

Resume regular visits

Staying away from home overnight


Some school work at home

No school attendance


Part-time attendance


Full-time attendance

Last Update
March 22, 2013
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Last Update
March 22, 2013