Hospitalization is a stressful time for the whole family — including brothers and sisters. Before a child visits a hospitalized sibling, it is helpful to prepare him or her ahead of time. Child life specialists provide individualized support and unique teaching sessions for siblings. We have books and resources to help brothers and sisters become more familiar with the hospital setting and better understand what he or she will see when visiting.

Child life specialists also help caregivers understand the many ways siblings may be affected by hospitalization.

As a parent, you may support siblings in many ways:

  • Reassure siblings you love them.
  • Try to plan some special time together, just for them.
  • Tell them that they did not cause the illness and it is not their fault.
  • Reassure them that they will not catch the illness.
  • Encourage the siblings to express their feelings.
  • Have brothers and sisters draw pictures, write letters and call their sibling on the phone.