Being an inpatient

If your child is coming to stay overnight with us, it means they are an inpatient.

What to bring with you

The lists below detail what you should bring to hospital when your child will be staying overnight or longer.

Medical checklist

Make sure you have everything listed below ready to show to hospital staff:

  • Your child's personal health record, such as their blue book, immunisation record and any other health summaries you may have
  • Medicare card
  • Health insurance details or evidence of current fund membership
  • A list of medications or treatments your child is currently receiving, as well as the medications themselves to show hospital staff
  • Any equipment which your child needs to aid mobility, feeding or communication
  • Your family doctor's name, address and phone number
  • Your general paediatrician's name, address and phone number if your child sees one regularly
  • Any relevant x-rays and results from pathology tests.

Personal checklist

For overnight stays, there are some additional things to bring: 

  • Clothes (including pyjamas and slippers), shoes
  • Soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush
  • A favourite toy or comforter, colouring pencils or games
  • School books and homework (the hospital has a school run by the Department of Education and Training)
  • Special dietary formula
  • A cup or drink bottle 
  • Money for your meals, parking and accommodation
  • Storage space on the wards is limited so please do not bring too much with you.
  • We recommend you leave valuables at home as the hospital cannot accept responsibility for any lost belongings.

Patient safety

Here are some tips on keeping you and your child safe while in hospital.

Preventing falls

The hospital environment is different from a home environment—there are hard floors and lots of equipment around. Beds tend to be on wheels and much higher off the ground than the beds at home.

For these reasons, falls can be a hazard. You can help us keep you safe by following these tips:

  • Keep the cot sides up at all times
  • Please don't sleep in your child's bed as this may block staff access to your child
  • Don't give food or drink to your child if there is a 'Nil by Mouth' notice on the bed — this could be dangerous for your child
  • Don't give food or drink to other children on the ward as they may be on special diets
  • If your child is on a special diet consult the staff before ordering meals — hot drinks are not permitted in patient care areas.
  • For safety, children under the age of 10 are not permitted in the ward kitchens
  • Alcohol is not be consumed in the hospital
  • Please keep the identification bands on your child during their stay
  • Please let the nurses know when you are leaving the ward
  • Please don't share other children's food or toys
  • Please don't pick up other children in the ward
  • All medications are stored and locked in the cupboard at the staff station. Parents/carers who take any regular medication should discuss storage of this with the Nursing Unit Manager.

Download the Falls Prevention brochure for children with muscle conditions.

Nutrition screening

If your child is staying in hospital for 24hrs or longer, we will talk to you about nutrition. We screen all patients to determine if your child is at risk of malnutrition while in hospitals and avoid hospital-acquired malnutrition.

Hygiene and infection control

Both our hospitals have committed to use Aseptic Non-touch Technique; international best-practice guidelines that minimise infections and protect your child.

Hygiene is really important. Remember to wash your hands:

  • before entering the kitchen
  • before feeding your child
  • before and after contact with other children
  • after nappy changing or toileting.

Directions, maps and parking

Information about directions, maps and parking for The Children's Hospital at Westmead.


If you know which ward your child will be staying in, click on the link below to learn more about that ward.

For parents and carers

When a child is admitted, you are welcome to stay on the ward (see Accommodation for families) if you are the child's parent or carer. Alternatively, there are other accommodation options for parents, carers and visitors.

There's a cafe and cafeteria inside the for The Children's Hospital at Westmead which is open on weekdays. Services and facilities available include an interpreter service, gift shop, pharmacy, home equipment lending service, chaplaincy services, kids entertainment facilities and a hospital school. Public phones are available at The Children's Hospital at Westmead.

We're a teaching hospital

The Children's Hospital at Westmead is a teaching hospital. You may be asked if your child can be seen by other health professionals for teaching purposes. If at any time you do not feel comfortable allowing your child to be examined by a medical student, please let a nurse from your ward know and this request will be respected.

Discharge and follow-up

Your doctor or nurse will let you know when your child can go home (be discharged) and arrange for any necessary follow-up appointments. The aim of the hospital is for most children to go home between 9.00am - 10.00am on their day of discharge. Please be prepared for early discharge so that other children waiting to be admitted are not disadvantaged.