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Children's Health (Paediatric, Neonatal & NICU)

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) serves infants who are premature, have low birth weight, or require special needs. Family-centred care is promoted and supported by all staff. 

As a team, we believe in open, honest communication and encourage you to ask questions and participate in your baby’s care; you are the most important person for your baby.

Learn even more about our NICU.

Paediatric Inpatient Unit

Children are generally admitted to Markham Stouffville Hospital’s Paediatrics unit with medical or surgical problems through our Emergency Department or via a paediatrician’s office. Like all services in our Children’s Centre, our Paediatrics unit offers family-centered care for newborns, children and adolescents up to 18 years of age.

We provide children who stay in our Paediatrics unit with the opportunity to participate in our Child Life program, which includes a playroom, games, learning opportunities and other activities.We have a childlife specialist on staff to support your child.

We have a commitment to make Markham Stoufville Hospital a child-friendly place to visit. Coping kits, distraction techniques, and educational material for children and their parents are located throughout the hospital where children may visit to help us keep our promise.

May I stay with my child at the hospital?

Parents are welcome to stay with their child in the room, and we encourage one parent to stay 24 hours a day to support and comfort their child at all times. Sleeper chairs are available for parents at all times.

Other visitors are welcome during normal Childbirth and Children's Centre visiting hours, which are 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Child Life Program

Markham Stouffville Hospital’s Child Life Specialist is an integral member of our health-care team. Through play, learning, self-expression and social interaction, our Child Life Specialist will help make your child’s hospital stay a normal and positive experience.

"Child Life is a profession that offers services to meet the psychological needs of children and youth in hospitals and health care settings. Child life programs strive to:

  • Promote optimum development of children and adolescents.
  • Maintain normal living patterns.
  • Help alleviate the stress and anxiety that children and their families may encounter as a result of the hospitalization/medical experience.
  • Child Life specialists provide opportunities for therapeutic and diversional play, prepare children for and assist children during medical tests and procedures through education, rehearsal, and coping skill development, and suuport families during hospitalization or challenging events. Child Life professionals support a philosophy of 'family centered care' in health care facilities" (Canadian Association of Child Life Leaders)

Helpful Hints for Comforting Our Children.

Contact Information

jatkinson@msh.on.ca 
905-472-7000 ext. 6408

For more information on the Child Life Profession and Services, please contact the Child Life Council at www.childlife.org

Dr. Bear Program

The Dr. Bear Program is designed to provide psychological preparation and support to reduce the stress associated with hospitalization and surgery for children.

Children between ages four to twelve attend Dr. Bear's Surgical Preadmission Program. In keeping with our family-centred care philosophy, it involves both children and their parents.

The Dr. Bear Preadmission Program provides an opportunity for parents and children to identify and express feelings through hands-on exploration of commonly used medical equipment, and a tour of the operating and recovery rooms. Hospital clinical staff are in attendance to meet the children, answer questions and address concerns associated with surgery.

To register, please call your child's Surgeon's office.

Location and Hours of Operation

In 4Wf room B4611 on Wednesday evenings (must be pre-registered to attend):
4:30 p.m. for surgical assessment
5:00 p.m. for a tour

What Should You Know?

In order to focus individual attention on children having surgery, we are unable to invite siblings to the Dr. Bear Program. However, both parents are welcome to accompany their child.

In the event your child experiences some behaviour difficulties after surgery, please contact our Child Life Specialist at 905-472-7000 ext 6408.

For children who are preparing for surgery, they can play the 'I'm Thirsty' game to ensure they drink enough water.

School Tours

Each Thursday morning of the school year, grade one children from the local community come with their class to visit the hospital. Designed to introduce young children to the hospital environment in an enjoyable and non-threatening way, the students are divided into small tour groups so they can be comfortable asking questions and expressing their feelings about the hospital. Grade one teachers are welcome to call in June to book a tour for the next school year. We regret that for the privacy of our patients pictures can not be taken while on the tour.

Ronald McDonald House Toronto

The Ronald McDonald House Toronto Family Room at Markham Stouffville Hospital is located on the 4th floor of Building “B”, adjacent to the  Stollery Family Centre for Childbirth & Children” Unit.

Situated directly off the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and steps away from the Paediatric Unit of the hospital, the RMH Toronto Family Room is designed to be a soothing place of comfort, care and compassion for families whose children are receiving hospital treatment. The Family Room is equipped with two kitchenettes, two lounge areas with televisions, a bathroom with shower facilities and provisions for napping. It offers families access to a medical-free space to rest, relax and recharge themselves inside the hospital while being steps away from their ill babies and children.

Find out more about the Ronald McDonald House Toronto