Preparing to Stay

Find out the steps to take, what to pack and how to talk to your child.

At Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, we never forget that this may be your first hospital experience. Whether your child is a new patient or they’ve been in the hospital before, we know that visiting us can cause feelings of anxiety and worry. Being prepared can help.

Before Your Hospital Visit

If you're scheduled to visit Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, you have time to get ready. We suggest taking the following steps to make your visit smoother and less stressful.

Verify Your Insurance Coverage

It's important to confirm that your insurance company will cover your child’s care. We recommend checking the insurance plans we accept to make sure we take your insurance. It's also a good idea to contact your insurance company to verify coverage, copayments and deductibles.

Get a Price Estimate

Cost is an important factor when seeking care for your child. Through Memorial Healthcare System, you can receive a good faith price estimate to help you plan payment. We offer self-pay and insured estimates.

Apply for Financial Assistance

Financial assistance is available for families based on their ability to pay. You may be eligible if your income is less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level. Find out more about hospital financial assistance.

Arrange for Lodging and Transportation

Arriving at the hospital can be hectic. We recommend looking at a map to ensure you know your route and where to park.

If you're traveling to see us, we provide free housing for families at Conine Clubhouse. You can also request a list of local hotels and extended-stay lodging.

Find Out About Our Dining Options and Amenities

We offer several food options, including cafeteria, café and in-room dining, and a range of amenities to make your stay more comfortable.

Let Us Know if You Need an Interpreter or Have Special Needs

It’s important for you and your child to communicate effectively with your care team. We provide translation services in many languages and assistance for people with special needs.

Let your care team know your needs ahead of time. With advance notice, we can be ready to assist you when you arrive.

Contact Our Global Health Team

If you are coming to us from abroad, Memorial Global Health can help guide your care. International patients receive 360-degree assistance, from planning your stay to transitioning care back to your doctor at home. Services we provide include making appointments, expediting your visa, coordinating with your care team and more.

Sign Up for MyChart

MyChart is the electronic medical record for Memorial Healthcare System. It's a secure patient portal that helps you manage your child’s care. You can view visit summaries, receive test results, request prescription refills and message your provider.

As a parent, you can request proxy access to your child’s MyChart account.

Gather Important Documents

To check in at the hospital, you'll need a form of photo identification and your insurance cards. Also, bring any other documents related to your child's condition or stay, such as:

  • Doctor’s orders
  • Insurance authorizations
  • List of your child’s medications
  • Referrals from other providers

Enroll in KidCierge™

KidCierge is our patient navigation program that can help you make appointments, find guest services and connect with area resources. If you need help managing your child’s care, let us know. We’re here to help.

Connect With Child Life

Our Child Life specialists can help your child understand their diagnosis and prepare for medical tests and procedures. We also offer Teddy Bear Tours of the hospital to show your child ahead of time what to expect during their stay. For more information, call the Child Life Department at 954-265-0171.

Review Our Support Services

During your stay, you have access to a range of support services. Many patients and families don’t take advantage of these services because they aren't aware they exist. Take a few minutes to review how we support patients and families and the support services we offer. If the need arises, don't hesitate to ask your care team to assist you when you are here.

Tour of Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital
View TranscriptHide Transcript
children's hospital
today we're going to go on a tour are
you ready
welcome mr josh i'll be more than happy
to park the park with you today
no thank you i'm taking it inside
one of these baseballs represents one of
the generous people who have supported
the hospital
good morning hi welcome
all right we've got a lot of places to
get to so let's take a closer look at
this first
floor this is the outpatient department
it's where you go to get checked and
treated when you don't have to spend the
in the hospital that's why they call it
let me keep showing you around
there's a chapel in gift shop too if you
ever need it
over there's the clipper cafe where
family members can get
breakfast lunch dinner and snacks
lots of snacks my personal favorite is
the breakfast wrap
children's hospital is all about the
healing power of play
that's why they have many players like
this one
all over the hospital and all of its
floors have a theme to them
this one is sports themed the second
floor is
art the third is all about games
and the fourth is themed around dreams
hey guys wait for me
this is one of the coolest places here
it's like a big family room where you
can read books play with toys and
even enjoy some freshly baked cookies
this place really is awesome i think i'm
going to stay here
for a bit gabriel why don't you keep
showing my friends around
i'm on it
all right looks like you've covered the
first floor let's check out the second
did you know kids from this hospital
actually recorded the voices for the
elevator that went up
i bet that was fun
this is where you go to get ready for
surgery it could be a little stressful
so they usually have someone helping
kids relax and have fun
oh my pet therapy program is here too
hi freedom how are you
and here's my friend ellia who knows a
lot about surgeries
so she's going to show you around this
part hey can you show them around
i'm on it this super high tech and
super clean room is called the surgical
it's the place where doctors perform
i actually had my own surgery right here
and over here is a quiet and comfy place
to rest and recover
thank you ellia i'll see you later bye
we're at the third floor now let's go
over to imaging
this place is called imaging when you're
sometimes you need to look inside your
body to find out what's wrong
and that's what they do here in imaging
and the best part
is none of it hurts let me show you
this is a ct scanner it's like a huge
that takes pictures of what's inside of
you all you have to do is
lie down and let them do the work this
is the mri
that stands for magnetic resonance
imaging it looks like your organs using
magnets and radio waves
patients children's hospital are super
comfortable when you get here there's a
sign that welcomes you into your room
that couch over there can actually turn
into a bed
not to mention get your own restroom
mom and dad get a separate place to
you even get someone to hang out with
paige here works as a child life
which means she'll find ways to make
your life happy and comfortable
hey do you mind showing them around the
hospital i'm busy playing with paige of
i'm on it bye
looks like there's one more floor to go
you're going to love this one this is
the fourth floor
which is focused on oncology it's where
kids come to receive special medicine
for cancer
oh hey elia oh hi you know a lot about
this place right
yeah this is daniella's atrium it's a
space dedicated to daniella a beloved
she drew everything you see on the wall
she even
wrote that poem if you listen carefully
you can actually hear the ocean
thank you this hospital is so big it's
hard to know every place here
did you know it's actually getting
bigger really
the hospital currently has four floors
but soon they will be adding four
more floors on top that's like double
the care
imagine all the lives that will be saved
and changed for the better
more care more love i can't wait
all right i have to get going thanks a
lot for the help ellia
bye bye now
you might think the fourth floor is over
but it keeps going
let me show you the skywalk yeah it's as
cool as it sounds
goggles on
we finally made it
at joe dimaggio children's hospital kids
don't have to miss school
they just need to visit the classroom
and meet mr george our teacher
hey hello
sometimes when you get hurt you need
some help getting back on your feet
good thing we have our own rehab gym
right oh
and here's freedom hard at work again
this is the heart station it's where
doctors take care of your heart
here's the waiting room the examining
area where they take a first look at you
in the echo room where they can take
ultrasound pictures of your heart
this is the nicu it's the place where
they give special care to newborn babies
but anyway the babies are sleeping so
let's move on to the emergency
if something happens to you or you feel
really bad
this is the place where you go to get
help right away the emergency department
where they take care of you guessed it
some of our patrons have to come from
far away
so they have special ambulances to pick
them up and bring them to the hospital
all right let's finish this up
that was a lot of work we hoped you
liked this place as much as we do
and we hope you pay us a visit if you
ever need to
we're gonna go play now if you don't

Tour of Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital

What to Bring

Packing familiar items can help you and your child feel more comfortable during your stay. Here are some items you might want to pack for your child for their stay at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital:

  • Blanket or quilt
  • Books
  • DVDs of your child’s favorite movies
  • Electronic devices* (cellphone, tablet, laptop, handheld gaming console, earbuds and charging cords)
  • Favorite pajamas and warm socks or slippers
  • Nightlight*
  • Snacks, if you do not have any dietary restrictions
  • Stuffed animals, toys and games*
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, brush and comb

If you are staying with your child, you may want to bring:

  • Comfortable clothes, sleepwear, socks and slippers
  • Electronic devices* (cellphone, tablet, laptop, earbuds and charging cords)
  • Reading materials
  • Snacks
  • Soft blanket and pillow
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, brush and comb

*Our Facilities Department must approve any electrical devices for safety.

Prepare Your Child

A hospital visit can upend your child’s life — including their routine, diet and sleep patterns. They are in an unfamiliar environment, surrounded by unfamiliar people, undergoing medical tests and procedures. Older children may also feel like they've lost their newly gained sense of independence and privacy.

How you prepare your child for their upcoming stay can affect their care experience. Each child is different. But in general, children want to understand what's happening to them and why. Open communication is best.

In addition, it may be helpful to:

  • Have family discussions about the visit
  • Let them know that their stay is only temporary
  • Pack together, making sure to include their favorite items
  • Provide reassurance that a parent or caregiver will be with them at all times or as much as possible, whichever is appropriate

Strategies to help your child prepare vary with age. Here are some suggestions:

Infants and Toddlers

  • Young children want familiar people and objects around them. Make a plan to have round-the-clock caregiver support at the hospital.
  • Reassure toddlers that going to the hospital is not a punishment for something they’ve done.


  • Talk to your preschool-age child three to five days before admission.
  • Use simple terms and encourage them to ask questions.
  • Use medical play with a doll or stuffed toy to help them understand upcoming procedures.

School-Age Children

  • Talk to your school-age child one to two weeks before admission.
  • Use simple terms and encourage them to ask questions.
  • Coordinate a plan with your child’s teachers to help your child keep up with schoolwork.


  • Talk to your teen as early as possible.
  • Use simple terms but keep in mind that teens may hesitate to ask questions. Encourage them to engage with their medical team.
  • Include them in care discussions and decisions.
  • Assure them of their privacy.
  • Help them maintain contact with peers.
  • Coordinate a plan with your child’s teachers and counselors to help your child keep up with schoolwork.