Having a sick child is a harrowing experience for any parent, especially when it involves long hospitals stays.

But for children, especially very young ones, it can be downright terrifying, especially as parents and doctors make decisions for them. This can leave children feeling disempowered, scared, confused, adrift and disconnected from their own bodies and lives.

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Credit: Golisano Children’s Hospital

One special hospital however, is doing its best to include even the youngest of patients in the decision-making process.

Golisano Children’s Hospital in Rochester, New York puts the emotional well-being of patients into sharp focus, employing a bevy of fun methods to make hospital stays as least stressful as possible for children and their families.

Whether its choosing where to sit during treatments, or having a home-cooked meal with their family in the hospitality wing, receiving visits from therapy dogs, playing, singing, or coloring, the young patients of Golisano Children’s Hospital can have happy and lighthearted moments during treatments that can take weeks and months – or even years.

One of the most popular tricks at the University of Rochester’s pediatric hospital are their fun and funky surgical caps. Created with love by generous volunteers, children can pick out their favorite cap to wear, giving them the opportunity to make choices.

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Image: Golisano Children’s Hospital fun surgical caps. Credit: Facebook

The young patients get to pick whatever pattern they like best from the hundreds now available, thanks to generous donors from around the country.

If you too want to put a big smile on a sick child’s face, Golisano Children’s Hospital has instructions on how to make the caps at home and where to deliver them.