When a brain injury happens, adults may instinctively want to protect children by not talking about what has happened. However, if the injured person is a close relative, such as a parent, the child will need to know at least a few basic details.
When a parent is in hospital it’s natural for a child to ask questions about where the person has gone and when they will be coming home. Very young children will not be able to comprehend what has happened but will be sensitive to changes in the environment, whereas older children and teenagers will have a better understanding and may ask more direct questions.
The information in this feature is intended to help you make the decision on whether to allow a child to visit a sick parent or close relative in hospital, as well as how to prepare the child for the visit.
Has the child actually expressed any thoughts about visiting? If so, have they asked to go or stated that they do not want to? At this stage, anything the child says that demonstrates their wishes or fears should be taken into account when making a decision.
Prior to arranging a visit, ensure that the child understands and accepts the information that they have been told so far. You may have to repeat the information on several occasions to ensure that they properly understand and are confident in their decision about visiting.
This information has been taken from our Supporting children when a parent has had a brain injury booklet. You can find out more information by downloading the booklet here.
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