Guidelines for Donations and Entertainers


Thank you for your interest in the pediatric patients of Stony Brook University Medical Center. Through the efforts of concerned individuals and groups, hospitalization can become a more positive and pleasant experience for children and their families.

Music, magic or storytelling performances are the most successful.

The audience of children is usually between two and eighteen years old.

Activities where children can be involved are the most successful.

Performances should be no longer than 30 minutes.

Please do not incorporate the following themes: religion, death, separation, or abandonment.

Costumes should not be frightening. It is best when the face of the costumed character can be seen.

Because their medical conditions require that some children remain in their beds, activities should be adaptable from a group setting to the bedside.


It is the responsibility of the Child Life Staff to screen all gifts for age appropriateness and safety. Gifts should not be wrapped but can have a bow or label identifying the donor.

The pediatric unit has 49 beds, however we ask you prepare for 50 children so that children admitted later in the day can feel a part of that days’ activities.

Though the census changes on a daily basis, it is helpful to plan for the following: 
10 infants (0-2 years) 
15 toddlers (2-5 years) 
15 school age (5-10 years) 
10 preadolescents (10-13 years) 
10 teens (13-18 years)

It is easiest if the gifts can be given to either a girl or a boy. On occasion we have young adults, 18-22 years of age.

Please be aware of the following restrictions: 
NO food items 
NO toys with violent themes 
NO dolls with removable limbs or eyes 
NO latex balloons (Mylar balloons are OK)
Only new toys in original wrapping please.

Please see suggestions at the bottom of the page. If you have any questions regarding your choice of gifts, please contact the Child Life Office at 631/ 444-3840



The reactions of hospitalized children may differ from those of healthy children. Expressions of appreciation or affection may be restrained. For infection control reasons as well as space limitations, we must limit groups to no more then six people at one time.

Talk to children about their hobbies and interests or comment on some of the things in their room. Avoid asking questions about why they are in the hospital, how long they have been here or when they are going home.

When approaching the children, move slowly and bend down to their level. This will allow the child to decide how much they wish to interact with you. If they show any sign of resistance, just move away slowly.

A member of the Child Life Staff will escort you on the unit at all times. Visitors will not be allowed in isolation rooms, however the Child Life Specialist can take a gift to the child and entertainers can often perform at the doorway. At times there may be unpredictable situations on the pediatric unit that may create an environment inappropriate for visitors. If cancellation is necessary, every effort will be made to reschedule your visit.



Donations may be made directly to the Child Life Program’s Activity Room. 
Please contact the office to make arrangements for delivery. 631/444-3840


Suggestions for gift items to be distributed 
on the pediatric unit may include:
Musical crib toys 
Music tapes 
Small stuffed animals (no removable eyes) 
Stuffed toys (no removable eyes) 
Crayons/coloring books 
Stickers Books 
Easy Puzzles 
Books on tape 
Fisher Price, Little Tikes or Playskool items
Activity Books 
Arts and Crafts kits 
Board games 
Comic Books 
Crossword puzzle, word search books 
Sports memorabilia 
Hand-held video games 
Cosmetics (nail polish) 
Jigsaw puzzles 
Music tapes 
Restrictions include the following:The following items are 
always greatly appreciated:
  • Must be new items
  • Toys must be washable
  • No toys with violent themes
  • Stuffed toys must be new with
    tags on and will be used for
    birthdays and special events.
  • Music tapes for all ages
  • Fisher Price medical kits
  • Hand-held video games
  • 24, 60, 100 pc. Puzzles
  • Decks of cards
  • Comic Band-Aids
  • Stickers Markers


Specific items needed at this time: 
Flannel sleeping pants Boxers for boys Journals I Spy Books



Last updated by Webmaster on August 04, 2009

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