For Patients and Families

Family-Centered Care

At SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, we believe that health care staff and the family are partners who work together to meet the needs of each child. Our health care teams strive to provide open communication with patients and families, while empowering families to participate in their child’s health care journey.

Tips for Parents

  • Make sure your child is prepared for what is happening and has explanations in language he/she understands.
  • Communicate with staff about your child’s unique needs and comfort measures. Staff are experts in health care, but you are the expert on your child. We encourage you to feel comfortable speaking up and advocating for your child’s individual needs.
  • Write down questions to help remember your concerns when communicating with staff. It can also be helpful to write down staff names, roles, and the information they share with you.

Sibling Support

The hospitalization of a patient can be unexpected, traumatic and sometimes frightening for family members. In addition to providing psychosocial and developmental support to patients, child life specialists also help siblings and family members of various ages understand and cope with the hospitalization of a family member.

My Visit to SSM Health Cardinal Glennon: This is an e-book that can be used to help prepare siblings and family members for their first visit to Cardinal Glennon. 

Sibling Reactions to Hospitalization & Tips to Help

Bereavement Support

The death of a loved one is always a difficult experience. Learning to cope with the loss can also be challenging. Everyone grieves in their own unique way.

Children, especially young children, can also have a difficult time understanding what death means and beginning the grieving process. Child Life specialists, because of their background in child development, can help explain to children at their level what death means using books, play, and art activities. Specialists can also provide support to children and families facing a loss that will help them begin the grieving process in a positive way.

For more information regarding bereavement support, please look at the resource below:
Supporting a Child Through the Bereavement Process

Additional Resources 


  • "Curious George Goes to the Hospital" by H.A. Rey
  • "Going to the Hospital" by Anne Civardi
  • "Franklin Goes to the Hospital" by Paulette Bourgeois
  • "What to Expect When You Go To the Doctor" by Heidi Murkoff
  • "This is a Hospital, Not a Zoo" by R. Karim
  • "Topsy and Tim go to the Hospital" by Jean Adamson
Start your search above
Refine Results