After more than 30 years of working with hospitalized kids, I often field questions from family members, friends and sometimes friends-of-friends who are looking for recommendations for gifts for kids in the hospital. Being hooked up to lots of wires and, in some cases, immobile makes it difficult for patients to do normal “kid stuff.” For those unfamiliar with the hospital environment, choosing an appropriate gift can be daunting.
Some ideas sound great at first blush, but in reality aren’t a good choice for the hospital environment. For example, we don't allow latex balloons because some patients are allergic to latex. Some patient care areas also don't allow flowers, and stuffed animals need frequent washing to prevent the spread of germs.
Here are eight gift ideas that are doctor-approved and patient-proven to be a fun way to pass time at the bedside.