How can I prepare my teenager for hospitalization?

Begin preparing your teenager for hospitalization a couple weeks to a month ahead of time. This will give your teenager time to prepare, talk to family and friends and gather information.

For teenagers, independence is very important, so encourage your teenager to ask questions of doctors and nurses and to be as involved with self care as is appropriate. Give as much information as you think your teen can handle and reinforce positive coping mechanisms. Respect your teenager's need for privacy, and also help him or her keep in contact with school and friends. Encourage your teenager to make phone calls to friends, Skype and/or email. They can even hang pictures of their friends on their hospital room walls and have friends visit.

This content originally appeared on the Alliance for Kids website.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.