Things to Pack Before Heading to the Emergency Room With Kids

Headed to the emergency room with a sick little one? Having kids with asthma, we have unfortunately been to the emergency room with the boys numerous times. The upside is that we are now familiar with how things work and I have put together a list of essential things to pack before heading to the emergency room with kids.

It is never fun to have to go to the hospital with your kids, but you can make things easier by packing some necessary items. The full list is below.

Things to Pack Before Heading to the Emergency Room With Kids

Things to Pack Before Heading to the Emergency Room With Kids

  • Your child’s health card: Before leaving the house, ensure you have your child’s health card with you. This is the first thing you’ll need once you arrive at the emergency room.
  • Bring cash for parking or download a parking app: Hospital parking is not free (unfortunately), so you’ll have to bring cash to pay for parking or download the parking app so you can do it on your mobile. I always do it on the app so I can renew parking without having to leave the hospital room.
  • Snacks for the kids, snacks for you: Emergency rooms are busy, wait times are often very long, and kids get hungry. Be sure to pack some healthy snacks for them and don’t forget some snacks for yourself too! I have found myself in situations where I have spent most of the day at the emergency room with my kids to realize later on that I have had nothing to eat since breakfast time and I was feeling dizzy and lightheaded.  Note: Check with the nurses and doctors before feeding your child at the emergency. Sometimes, depending on why you are there, they may not want your child to eat anything until they say it’s o.k.
  • Your child’s favourite stuffed animal: Hospitals can be scary for young children and getting poked by nurses and doctors while they are feeling sick is tough. Bringing a small stuffed animal, they love for them to hug can help comfort them and make things less scary.
  • A fully charged cell phone and charger: You have no idea how long you will be in the emergency room, so having a fully charged cell phone to stay in touch with family/friends is vital. Bring your charger with you, as you will be able to plug it in at some point to re-charge it.
  • iPad, kid’s headphones, and charger: Yes, packing the iPad and allowing your child to watch their favourite show or play their favourite game is 100% O.K when they are waiting at the emergency room.  You want to help keep them entertained while they wait to be seen and you know that the wait may be hours and hours.
  • PJs or a comfortable change of clothes: I remember arriving at the emergency one afternoon and basically spending the entire night there with my son. After we were given a room, my son changed into his comfy pajamas, and he was able to sleep a bit in between check-ups.

What else would you take with you if you have to go to the emergency room with your child? Share in the comments below.

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Angela V

Founder and Writer at One Smiley Monkey blog
Hi, my name is Angela van Tijn and I live in Vancouver, Canada with my wonderful husband, our two boys and our puppy. I am the founder and primary contributor behind One Smiley Monkey. Welcome to my blog!

11 responses to “Things to Pack Before Heading to the Emergency Room With Kids”

  1. Great tips! Saving this!

  2. Hospital parking isn’t even free for the nurses who work there which is ridiculous! I do like the idea of a parking app that can be renewed without having to return to the car. There are very good tips here for going to the emergency room, it does often take hour upon hour to be seen so keeping children occupied and happy is paramount.

  3. I remember going to hospital for an operation and getting a huge parking bill – never again. The next time I walked, took the bus and walked again, all with 2 drainage bottles tucked into the waist of my jeans.

  4. I love the fact that parents of young children in Europe are now often allowed to stay with their child if he/she have to be admitted to hospital. This not only calms the child but also helps the staff a lot. Not sure if that is the same here or not.

  5. yup definitely could have used most of these the couple times we had to go to emerg. we weren’t even thinking and just rushed out the door till we got there and went … darn! should have brought juice, snacks, the ipad etc. Definitely a good list to keep in mind

  6. Not having been in hospital here I don’t know if it’s the same or not but when I did have to have an operation I had to take my prescribed medicine in with me.

  7. These are great tips. My granddaughter broke her arm falling off the couch last year. So she got accounted with emergency room.

  8. Thank you for the helpful tips!

  9. I really like your list of items to take to the hospital when you are going there with your child. This is a must list and thank you.

  10. These are great tips. I have lost count of how many times I’ve had to take someone to the emergency room. The only things I would add is to take a list of all medications and their strengths & dosages for both prescribed & over-the-counter meds, and a list of all allergies whether they are to meds, food, ingredients or contact allergies like latex.

  11. Good tips to be prepared. I think it’s good to write things down too, make a check list so you can prevent forgetting things

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