Helping children when a brother or sister is sick (1690)

Key points below

When a brother or sister is sick

How does my child’s hospital stay affect my other children?

When a child is in the hospital, it can be a stressful time for their sibling. Their routine is upset and they may feel left out. Parents may be gone a lot, and the focus is on the sick child.

What should I watch for in my other children?

Siblings of a child in the hospital may show behavior changes. The sibling may:

Siblings need to know about what is happening with their brother or sister. They may worry about things they do not understand. It is important to explain what is going on. Be honest and age-sensitive in what you tell the sibling. If you have questions ask to talk with the Child Life Specialist on your unit.

What can I do to help?

To help the siblings cope:

Helping my other children (continued)

Keep the siblings connected. They can:

This sheet was created to help you care for your child or family member. It does not take the place of medical care. Talk with your healthcare provider for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up.


Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your child has special health care needs that were not covered by this information.