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Gifts Ideas of Things to Bring With You for Hospital Visits

Updated on August 17, 2018
sangre profile image

Loves to share her experiences on how she dealt with issues close to her.


Many people who have to spend more than a night or two in the hospital know that it is nothing like staying in your own home.

If you know someone who has to stay in a hospital for a number of day or weeks, then you know that if there is a lull in visitors it can become quite monogamous over time.

Quite often when visiting friends or loved one in hospital, we often bring gifts of food, magazines to help them pass the time.

You might be more inclined to bring generic gifts when visiting a work colleague who is in the hospital. However it is a sibling or a close friend you might bring a more personal gift.

According the NHS website, items such as fruit, books and magazines are acceptable in many hospitals.

Hospital Rules on Food

Before you decide to bring homemade food to a patient in the hospital, check the hospital website to see if there are any foods that patients are not allowed to eat for fear that they interfere with their recovery.

Some hospitals will have minor stipulations on what foods can be admitted while others have very strict policies that need to be obeyed.

In University Hospital Bristol nurses will check the contents and suitability of food you bring in to the hospital to ensure that it is appropriate for the patient.

In St Vincent Hospital, Dublin, families are advised to not bring in any form of food for patients to ensure that there is no risk to their treatment plan.

In North West Private Hospital, Queensland, they have a list of foods such as sushi, eggs, cheese and pate as well as a few more that are high risk foods that patients should not consume.

General Gift Ideas for Hospital Visits

Get Well cards as well as newspapers, snacks and drinks are general items we bring when we visit someone in the hospital.

Bringing homemade food can be tricky as some hospitals don't like patients eating anything other than the hospital food.

When visiting someone you know in the hospital some idea of things you could bring could be as follows:

  1. Newspapers
  2. Chocolates
  3. Flowers
  4. Balloons
  5. Bottled water
  6. Magazines
  7. Card games
  8. Puzzle books
  9. Books
  10. Snack food

5 Hospital Gift Ideas for Family and Friends

Work Colleagues
Interactive toy
Fruit basket
Teddy bear
Comic books
Toy cars
Crossword puzzle book

Gift Ideas for a Family Member

Some of us will have a closer relationship with a family member compared to our work colleagues, so the range of gifts you can bring can be more personal.

If the patient has access to their phone or have their laptop, and you know that they love reading or listening to music, then you could give them gift certificates for audible, iTunes or Kobobooks.

If you don't have the money or want to get something else for them these gift ideas can be much more practical.

  1. Socks
  2. Pyjamas
  3. Toiletries
  4. Comfy pillow
  5. Craft assemble toys
  6. USB of their favourite music or podcasts
  7. Subscription to an online website they like
  8. Puzzle books
  9. Hamper of books
  10. Credit for downloading games on to their cell phone

Have you ever had to stay in a hospital for a few weeks?

See results
Reading magazines can help someone pass the time.
Reading magazines can help someone pass the time. | Source

Gifts Ideas for a Close Friend

If you have a close friend you've known for many years, then you will know what their likes and dislikes are.

If you know exactly what their interests and hobbies are, then you can bring something that you know they will enjoy doing from one of these areas.

Doing puzzles in a puzzle book, crocheting, knitting, reading car, fashion or gossip magazines as well and listening to audio books can all help to pass the time.

Some other items you could get them could be:

  1. Ear plugs (for those who are sharing a ward)
  2. Eye mask (for those who don't like sleeping in a room with a light on)
  3. Small desk fan (for hot room)
  4. Earphones (for those who want to listen to music or audio books without interrupting anyone else in the ward when they cannot sleep)
  5. A support pillow (for added support if the hospital pillows are uncomfortable or too soft)
  6. Heating pad (to help with aches and pains or too help keep them warm)

What gift would you prefer to receive if you were in the hospital?

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Average Length of Hospital Stay

Average Length of Hospital Stay
United Kingdom
United States
New Zealand
Source: OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) : Length of Hospital Stay
Toys and teddy bears are good gifts to bring children in hospital.
Toys and teddy bears are good gifts to bring children in hospital. | Source

Gift Ideas for Children

When getting gifts for children, you want something that isn't too big, is easy to transport and something that will help keep them entertained.

If the child is also sharing a room with other children and space is limited, then you need something that can be small enough to store in a bedroom cabinet.

Some things that children might enjoy playing with are:

  1. Plush Get Well toy or teddy bear
  2. Activity book with games and puzzles
  3. I Spy Books
  4. Magnetic building blocks
  5. Magnetic drawing pad for children
  6. Locks and latches activity board
  7. Wooden puzzle set
  8. Lego assembling kits

Gift Ideas for a Female Friend

The reason behind your friends long stay at the hospital will determine what type of gift you might decide to give them. Some products which are more practical and some that are made from natural ingredients that you could bring when you visit them are as follows:

  1. De-stress Aromatherapy Roller-ball
  2. Relaxing Pillow Spray
  3. Aromatherapy skin tonic spritzer
  4. Antiseptic hand lotion
  5. Calendula hand cream
  6. Eye spray
  7. Hand wipes
  8. Dry shampoo

Gadget Gift Ideas

If you know someone who is into gadget, then the most practical gift you can bring them when visiting them in the hospital is some type of gadget. Some gadgets you can get online are as follows:

  1. USB Rechargeable drink warming plate
  2. USB cup warmer
  3. Electric cup warmer
  4. Rechargeable electric hot water bottle
  5. Cup Immersion heater
  6. USB Rechargeable heating cup
  7. Portable hand-held espresso maker

Some of these gift idea would require the recipient to have a laptop with them so that they can use it to recharge the items.

If the person doesn't have a laptop with them at the hospital then you can purchase a USB port wall charger adapter that you plug into the electrical socket on the wall.

Most often people don't expect you to bring them gifts when you visit them in hospital. But sometimes you just want to bring some item with you when you are visiting them to let them know that you are thinking of them.

© 2018 Sp Greaney


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    • sangre profile imageAUTHOR

      Sp Greaney 

      10 months ago from Ireland

      @Sarah Spradlin, thank you.

    • sarahspradlin profile image

      Sarah Spradlin 

      10 months ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      I like the idea for this article. Thanks!


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