Where You Stay

Preparing yourself, the parent, for your child’s hospital admission.

Admission to hospital can be very confusing for you, your child and family. This section of the website we hope will assist you in preparing yourself and your child. It is a brief guide on preparation for admission and the services available once you are here. Children often sense their parent’s feelings.  By recognising your own fears, worries etc it will allow you to be in a better position to support your child during his/her admission to hospital and cope with any stresses that may arise.
Entrance to the National Children's Hospital


To prepare:

  • Read our booklets on the website on preparing you and your child for hospital admission and Charlie the Clown.
  • Being in hospital with your child can be very tiring especially if it is for a long duration. Where this is the case, organise support so that another caregiver can stay while you take a break. Older children often feel secure enough to allow you to leave the ward but ensure you tell him/her and the ward staff that you are leaving and when you plan to return.
  • Hospital wards by their very nature are very warm so bring in light clothing for you to wear.

For more information on each ward click on the links below:
Maple Ward-Children's
High Dependency Unit-Childrens
Oak Ward 
Beech Ward

  • Take short breaks from the ward or room. Where possible the nursing staff will organise someone to stay with your child (if required) while you take a tea/coffee break. No Hot Drinks are allowed at the bedside for your child's safety.
  • Ask staff about the parents coffee room which is available for use by the parents. This room is a sanctuary for parents and so no children are allowed in here. However children are allowed in "The Volunteer Coffee Shop", which is staffed by volunteers and is located on the ground floor at the main hospital entrance. You may also bring your child to the hospital canteen. Children must be supervised at all times in these areas.
  • Bring in something for yourself to pass the time. Time can pass very slowly while you wait for test results.
  • Bring in your mobile phone and charger so you can keep in contact with family and friends. Mobile phones however are not allowed in the High Dependency Unit (HDU). Some single rooms have a telephone which will allow incoming calls; the phone number is obtained by prefixing 414 to the phone extension number.
  • We pride ourselves on being “family centred” and so extended family are welcome to visit. However as there are sick children in the hospital we ask you to be respectful of their needs by not allowing too many visitors at any one time. Parents and guardians have unrestricted visiting at all times. The Day Ward restricts visitors to parents/guardians and no siblings are allowed (this is due to limited space). Overnight admissions need to ring their relevant ward on the morning of admission to confirm bed is available.
  • You can visit the Play Room with your child (where appropriate) and encourage him/her to make friends with other children. Click on this link for more information: Play Department


  • If you have other children at home an extended hospital admission can affect them too. They may feel jealous or worry for their brother or sister in hospital. It is important where possible to arrange for them to visit you and their brother/sister. If possible it is a good idea to go home to spend some time with them as well.
  •  If you and your child’s other parent do not live together then plan in advance who will stay with the child. Organise a workable time table so your child knows what to expect.
  • If there are any special arrangements regarding the other parent, for example barring orders, or you have sole guardianship please inform the staff on admission. The social worker will be notified and will visit you to offer support and advice if required. This will all be done discreetly.
  • Depending on the reason for your child’s admission other members of the multi-disciplinary team may be involved in your child’s care, for example Physiotherapist, Speech and Language Therapist and Psychologist.
  • you have any worries or concerns during your visit please speak to a member of the nursing or medical team.

Advice before coming into hospital can also be sought from:

  • Children in Hospital- Ireland have an advice pack for parents (Tel: 01-8780448 or click on this link: www.childreninhospital.ie.
  • Check our Hospital Information Centre in Outpatients for additional specific information leaflets, for example “Going to Theatre”, “Blood Tests” “Charlie the Clown”, “Preparing you and your child for hospital admission” etc
  • Speak to our hospital staff between the hours of 14.00-16.00: Day Ward (01) 414 2295; Beech Ward (01) 414 2160; Oak Ward (01) 414 2152; Maple Ward (01) 414 2162; Outpatients Dept. (01) 414 2663 and Play room (01) 414 3836.

It can be dangerous for some of our children to come in contact with people who have certain infectious diseases. If you, your child or visitor is or has had (or been in contact with) measles, mumps, chicken pox, within the last three weeks, then they should contact the hospital for advice. If you or your child experience symptoms of diarrhoea and or vomiting Please Do Not Attend the hospital until 48 hours after your last symptom. If you have an appointment or are due for admission please contact the department you are due to attend for further advice, please do not attend the hospital until you have spoken to a member of hospital staff.


Over night accommodation is available for one parent/guardian at the bedside. A small number of rooms are available in parent accommodation, which is located close to the wards. These rooms are not accessible during the day. No children are allowed in parent accommodation at any time.

We encourage parents or guardians to stay with their child during their admission however we are aware that this may not always be possible. It is important that your child is aware when you are leaving and when you plan to return. Your child will feel happier and safer when they are kept informed and know what is happening. For longer admissions you should organise support for yourself. Your spouse, partner or a close family member may be able to relieve you so that you can go home for a few hours or indeed overnight.

Always inform the nursing staff when you are leaving the ward.

More information is available on the links

Coming into Hospital
Morning Surgery
Afternoon Surgery
Charlie the Clown goes to Theatre
Chloe falls and breaks a bone
Ben's Grommets
Goodbye Tonsils