Preparing for treatment

Hospitals can be scary places, especially if your child is coming in for an operation. To help reassure you and let you know what to expect, take a look at our video podcast from teen Ryan, who has come to Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) for an operation on his leg.

If the video is not showing, please watch it on YouTube


There are many things that you can do to prepare your child for coming into hospital. It's important that you sit down with your child and explain to them where they are going, that they will be having an operation, and basic details about what to expect.

Some ideas of what to say:

  • Explain that the operation or investigation will help your child to get better.

  • Use simple words your child understands.

  • Encourage your child to talk about the operation and ask questions. You might find it helpful to use books, games and stories.

  • Talk to your child about how long they will stay in hospital for and when they will have their operation or investigation.

If you would like some advice on talking to your child about hospital, please ring the Play service on 020 7829 8849 as our qualified play specialists can help and support you.

You might also find it useful to look at our tips on what to bring and taking a look at our hospital virtual tour. You can also watch our parents and families video guides, which give you the chance to meet some of our staff, see what support services we have available, and listen to some of our top tips for parents, teens and childen.

Regulations on the ward

If your child has had recent contact with chickenpox or measles, or has chickenpox, measles, shingles, diarrhoea and vomiting, then please let a member of the nursing team know before you come to the hospital.

You can find out more information about your child's ward, including contact information, in our wards and admissions section.

If your child has any special requirements, please let us know in advance and we will do whatever we can to help.