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Preparing for Overnight Stays


We focus on a family-friendly environment to help make your child's stay at Children’s as comfortable as possible. We want you and your child to know what to expect every step of the way.

What to bring

If you and your child are spending the night, please review the following list to find out what you need to bring:

  • Your child's robe and slippers and favorite stuffed animal or toy (a favorite stuffed toy can serve as a "security blanket" and accompany your child into surgery, the recovery room or the intensive care unit.)
  • Extra clothing for you and your child
  • Insurance information
  • Important documents, such as X-rays and other pertinent medical records
  • Your child's immunization record
  • A list of all medications your child is taking (including prescription, over-the- counter and herbal)
  • Photo ID of the parent or legal guardian escorting the child
  • Any medications or other items that parents will need while away from home

Spending the night

Parents or legal guardians are welcome to stay 24 hours a day. You may assign one adult friend or family member to stay overnight in your place.

Your child’s room has a recliner, sleeping chair or sofa. Children younger than 18 are not permitted to spend the night in your child’s room.

Parents can also stay at the Ronald McDonald House, depending on available rooms and other factors. Our social workers are available around the clock. They can help with these arrangements and other needs. Our Social Services department can also help arrange a stay at nearby hotels. Many area hotels offer discounted rates.

To contact a social worker, dial (214) 456-2300 on weekdays or extension (214) 456-2117 on weekends.

While you’re here

There are a number of other things you can do to make your child’s stay more comfortable:

  • Bring some of your child’s favorite things to make the room more comfortable.
  • Each room has a DVD/video player, so bring his favorite movies, or ask a child life specialist about available movies.
  • Bring clothes that can fit over medical items and bandages.
  • Keep in touch with your friends and family while you are in the hospital.
  • Stay busy. The staff and playrooms at Children’s can help you and your child stay busy, active and learning during your stay.
  • Bring things to help you relax. Books, iPods, puzzles, games and movies are some good choices.
  • Use the Family Resource Library.
  • Ask questions.

After-hours access

To keep the campus safe and secure, some entrances are locked after visiting hours. Parents and legal guardians may still enter through three areas on the Dallas campus:

  • The Tower D Lobby, which can be accessed from Green Park and the main valet entrance
  • The Blue Park Skybridge entrance
  • The Emergency Department entrance

Remember, our Children’s staff is here to help. If you have questions or need more information, please feel free to contact the Child Life Department at 214-456-6280. You may also want to read the answers to questions we hear most often from parents and families.