Heart Center FAQ

It is normal to have a ton of questions. What causes heart disease? How can I keep my child’s heart healthy? Get answers to these questions and more that other families have asked while going through a similar situation. 

  • What should I pack?

    See our checklist below to help you pack and prepare your child of any age for their stay at Children’s Health℠

    For your child:

    • Button-up or snap clothes make it easy to navigate wires or cords.
      • Pack three to four outfits for children.
      • Pack six to eight outfits for infants.
    • Consider bringing soft, not-scratchy clothes. Surgical scars may be sensitive.
    • Pack socks with rubber on the bottom to avoid slips. No grippy socks? No problem, we can provide a pair.
    • Bring a robe, as some children prefer them when walking the halls.
    • Include anything that will help your child feel more comfortable throughout their stay, such as a favorite blanket, toy, stuffed animal, or pillow. Comfort has a big role in healing, Please do not bring live animals.
    • Wash any items brought into the hospital prior to arrival

    For parents:

    • Pack about a week’s worth of comfortable clothes if you are staying with your child.
    • Bring a sweater or sweatshirt and a blanket, as our hospital can be chilly. We have blankets and pillows you can use as well.
  • What can I expect in my child's room?

    Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) - Floor Three (D3):

    • Rooms in the CICU are open to allow for seamless care and monitoring of your child.
    • A couch, recliner and storage cabinet are available in the rooms.
    • Bathrooms are located inside and outside the unit.
    • Two showers and a laundry room with small lockers are available outside the unit.
    • A waiting area is outside the unit on floor three (D3). Please see the visitor policy FAQ for more information.
    • Food is not allowed to be brought into this unit. Eating at your child’s bedside is prohibited.
    • All food must be stored outside of the unit in the Family Pantry Room. The room has a refrigerator, vending machine and fresh coffee available to parents.

    Cardiology Unit - Floor Eight (C8):

    • Rooms on the cardiology floor are private rooms.
    • All belongings can be stored in the room.
    • Rooms have a private bathroom with a shower. 
    • A couch, recliner and storage cabinet are available in the rooms.
    • Visitors can eat at your child’s bedside in this unit.
  • Who can visit my child during our stay?

    Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) - Floor Three (D3):

    • We have a strict visitor policy in the CICU.
    • Four people are allowed in the CICU during the following visiting hours:
      • Every day, Monday through Sunday, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
    • However, only three people can be at the patient’s bedside at a time. The fourth visitor can wait in the waiting area outside the CICU and rotate in.

    Cardiology Unit - Floor Eight (C8):

    • There are no visitor restrictions as long as the number of visitors does not impede our ability to provide care for your child.
    • Visiting hours are:
      • Every day, Monday through Sunday, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Is there a place to do my laundry?

    There are two free laundry facilities located outside of the cardiac intensive care unit (CICU), floor three (D3) and the cardiology unit, floor eight (C8). You may bring your own detergent, or we have detergent available for purchase.

  • Is there a place to store food, such as a refrigerator or pantry?

    Food is not allowed in the cardiac intensive care unit (CICU), floor three (D3). All food must be stored in the Family Pantry Room outside of the unit. This room has a refrigerator, microwave, vending machine, water, ice and coffee. All items left in the refrigerator need to be labeled with the patient’s name. We do not have pantry storage.

    The cardiology unit, floor eight (C8) has two kitchenettes. Both have a refrigerator where you can store food labeled with the patient parent’s information, a microwave, water and ice for patient families.

  • What types of entertainment are available for my child?

    Toys and Games:
    We have board games, game systems and toys, appropriate for all ages. You can borrow toys and games from unit closets, or you can bring your child and their siblings to the playrooms. Playrooms also have a safe space for infants to explore.

    he Get Well Network and the Children’s Health movie channels on the television in your child’s room plays movies in both English and Spanish. In addition, you can borrow movies for free from the Child Life department and the cabinet on the cardiology unit, floor eight (C8).

    We have special events in our playrooms and in the Butterfly Atrium. Patients, parents and siblings can attend, as long as the patient is not on isolation precautions. The medical team will need to approve your child leaving. During some events, special guests will visit patients unable to leave. 

  • Is there a local support group with other people like me who are going through something similar?

    Mended Little Hearts of Dallas is a support program for parents of children with heart defects and heart disease. The Dallas branch offers resources, peer-to-peer support, monthly gatherings, hospital visits, Bravery Bags and other activities to help families find answers, healing and hope. Learn more about Mended Little Hearts of Dallas.

  • If I'm feeling ignored by the medical staff, who can I contact about concerns?

    Social workers are here to advocate for your family’s values and concerns, as well as help the medical team understand your family’s stressors or coping strategies. Together with your social worker, you can create a plan for how to navigate these challenges.

  • What can I do to help in my child's care?

    You and our medical experts are one team, helping your child on their journey to healing. That’s why we encourage you to participate in your child’s care through open communication with your child’s care team. 

    Every person who assists in your child’s care will announce who they are and what they’re there to do. We want you to feel comfortable interacting with your child’s care team so you can advocate for your child’s needs and understand your child’s care plan. 

    You can share what daily activities you would like to do with your child, such as diaper changes or feedings with your bedside nurse. If you have questions, concerns or need to provide additional information, we encourage you to share those with your provider or nurse.