Atrium Health Navicent Beverly Knight Olson Children's Hospital

Tips for Parents When Bringing Your Child to the Hospital

  1. Talk to your child before coming and let them know they will be spending the night
  2. Before coming to the hospital use play doctor toys to help them understand what to expect
  3. Plan to stay with your child overnight
  4. Although your child is sick, playing and doing activities are beneficial to your child's recovery. Be sure to take part in the activities with your child when it's possible.
  5. Allow friends and family to visit but ask that the visitors come in small groups and stay for a short amount of time so that the child is not overwhelmed.
  6. Talk to your Child Life Specialist about ways to reduce fears, stress, or anxiety associated with the hospital

Suggested items to bring:

  • Comforting toys and blankets from home
  • Photos of family and friends if it is an extended visit
  • Personal hygiene items that are used daily at home
  • Slippers, sandals, or shoes
  • air accessories
  • Favorite pajamas
  • Favorite VHS/DVD movies
  • Favorite games
  • Video game systems are allowed to be brought in, but please know that the hospital is not liable for lost or stolen items

For the parent…

Siblings may also have worries and concerns about their brother or sister being in the hospital. It is important to address these fears. Child life specialists are also available to siblings to help with understanding the changes in his or her routine, distraction during the siblings procedures, participation in activities, and to help explain beforehand the procedures his/her brother or sister may have to undergo.

Just as much for your child, we want you to be comfortable during the stay as well. Feel free to bring leisure activities as well for yourself such as magazines, books, newspapers, etc. Be sure you bring your own snack food, meal money, and hygiene items. Please ask the nurse before bringing food in front of your child in case he or she is on any special food limitations. Remember, it is important to take care of yourself, because you are one of the best medicines for your child. Be sure to rest, eat, and take breaks!

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Visitor and Donation Guidelines

On behalf of The Children's Hospital, our patients, families, and staff, please accept our sincere appreciation of your support and generosity. Involvement in the community is very important to us and is what makes The Children's Hospital such a special place for the patients.

The Children's Hospital is a full-service comprehensive care facility for children from birth to age 18. Inpatient service areas include a 35-bed unit, 12-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, 11-bed Pediatric Intermediate Care Unit, 36-bed Intensive Care Nursery, one Infant/Toddler Playroom, one School-Age Playroom, and one Teen/Activity Room. For outpatients we offer: Children's Hospital Outpatient Services (CHOPS) a 14-bed Short Stay Medical Unit, Atrium Health Navicent Children's Care Downtown Macon, a Facility of Atrium Health Navicent The Medical Center Center, and The Crescent House- a resource for abused children.

We welcome the opportunity for you to help us meet the unique needs of our patients here at The Children's Hospital. Please review the following information for a mutually rewarding experience.

Guidelines for Special Event Visits

  • Each special event must be approved and coordinated by the Child Life Specialist.
  • To schedule an event, call Lindsay Wagner, Child Life Specialist at 478-633-6539.
  • The event must be scheduled at 10:00a.m. or 2:00p.m. Tuesday or Thursday only so that we can properly prepare for the event.
  • If media coverage of your special event is anticipated, the Child Life Specialist must be informed at least three days before the event in order that proper releases may be obtained and our public relations department can be notified.
  • Costumes should not be frightening in any way (i.e. gorillas, Darth Vader, skeletons) and should be cleared prior to visit.
  • Age-appropriate, safe prizes may be passed out to each patient with prior approval.

Guidelines for Visiting Group Activities

Group activities at The Children's Hospital help normalize the hospital environment as well as reduce stress for patients and families. Examples of visiting group activities include: story time, craft activities, and puppet shows. The Child Life Department coordinates these efforts along with their own planned activities. Please be aware that our census can vary greatly from day to day; therefore attendance at activities can vary as well. A staff member will accompany the group at all times.

  • Each event must be approved and coordinated by a Child Life Specialist.
  • To schedule a visiting group activity, call Lindsay Wagner, at (478) 633-6539.
  • 10:00am-11:00am and 2:00pm-3:00pm Monday through Friday are set aside for visiting group activities in the Teen/Activity Room; no room-to-room visits are allowed.
  • If media coverage is anticipated, the Child Life Specialist must be informed at least three days before the event in order to properly obtain a photo consent form and inform public relations.
  • Costumes should be child-friendly and not frightening in any way.
  • Age-appropriate, safe prizes may be passed out to patients; to protect the patients, used toys or used stuffed animals are not allowed. Also, please count on leaving extra prizes for the patients who are unable to attend the activity.
  • Visiting groups should bring no more than 5 people and should be at least 12 years of age and accompanied by an adult.
  • Because children have limited attention spans, special events should last no longer than one hour; activities should be designed for all ages to participate.
  • No homemade food, fresh fruit, or candy that could cause choking; candy that is appropriate must be in original wrapper.
  • Our patients come from a variety of backgrounds and because of that activities should not include religious literature, praying, laying of hands, hugging, blessings, healing, or any other religious customs that could cause patients to feel uncomfortable.
  • For the safety of the patients, activities should not include latex balloons, fire, knives, firecrackers, flashing lights, smoke, or any other harmful substances.


Donations are especially important to the patients at The Children's Hospital. We are always in need of appropriate donations. Donations may be made to The Children's Hospital in honor of an individual or family. No used toys or used stuffed animals are accepted due to infection control. Please call Lindsay Wagner, Child Life Specialist at (478) 633-6539 to schedule a time to drop off your donation.

  • The following items make excellent donations:
  • Bubbles
  • Lego blocks
  • Toiletries
  • Crayons
  • Wagons
  • Crib mobiles
  • Markers
  • Board games
  • DVD's
  • Light up toys
  • Teething rings
  • NEW stuffed animals
  • Coloring books
  • Rattles
  • Video games

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Visiting Group Application
Click here for a printable copy of our Visiting Group Application.

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