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Your First Visit

There’s so much to plan for when you’re making your first visit to Children’s National. 

We’ll help you know what to bring, who is on your child’s care team and important essentials like amenities at the hospital – from food and drink to Wi-Fi. 

Appointment tips

  • Confirm your appointment time. Call and confirm ahead of time, and at your child’s first appointment, ask how best to confirm future appointments. 
  • Bring photo identification. Parents or legal guardians must be with their child at all times. The parent or legal guardian must provide written permission in order for anyone else to accompany the child to the appointment.
  • Find out if your child needs lab work. After their initial appointment, your child may need blood work, urine specimens or other advanced lab tests before their next appointment. If so, ask if these tests can take place through your pediatrician to save your family time and a trip to the lab. For advanced tests, ask the outpatient center where the results should be faxed or sent, and bring a copy of the lab work results to your child’s next appointment.
  • Bring your child’s medical history. Share any charts, journals, or other helpful prompts you use to record important information about your child’s condition, medications and treatments.
  • Schedule follow-up visits before you leave. This is an easy way to help make sure your child receives timely medical care. 
  • Bring insurance card. We accept private payments, Medicaid, and nearly every insurance plan so check with your provider to be certain our physicians and/or practices are participating providers. Bring any referrals your insurance requires for testing or being seeing a specialist. Please bring your insurance card with you because we review your information at every visit. Co-pay is collected at time of service. Additionally, we provide care to children and families in our service area regardless of ability to pay. If a patient does not have insurance, we can help get coverage or financial support. Learn more about insurance and billing

What to Bring

  • Paperwork and documents
  • Picture identification card (for parents and patients over 18)
  • Insurance card and Social Security number for the patient
  • Name, address and phone number of your child’s referring physician
  • Statement of non-availability (if covered by TriCare)
  • Referral/authorization (if covered by an HMO)
  • Proof of guardianship (foster parent papers, court orders) if you are not the parents of the patient
  • The Consent to Surgery form if your child is having a surgical procedure (provided to you by your child’s surgeon)

For Parents and Guardians

In addition to helping your child prepare for a stay, don’t forget about your needs too. Bring items to make yourself more comfortable and any personal items you may need:

  • Books and magazines, knitting materials or your laptop computer (free wireless internet service is available for all guests)
  • Toiletries for yourself, such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant or other items
  • A change of clothing (particularly a sweater or jacket for cooler temperatures)

For Patients

  • A comfortable change of clothes
  • Containers for glasses, contact lenses or any assistive devices such as hearing aids
  • Your child’s favorite toy, blanket or comfort item
  • Special bottle, pacifier or sippy cup

Do Not Bring to the Hospital

  • Electrical equipment, such as hair dryers or radios
  • Nail polish or nail polish remover
  • Valuables, such as jewelry
  • Latex balloons (Mylar balloons are okay)

Forms for your appointment

We also ask that you fill out intake forms for one of the following specialties prior to your visit. If you are unsure what to bring, call the department you are scheduled to visit. If you are unable to bring a completed copy, we will provide you with a blank one when you arrive:

Please consult your physician’s office or our customer service representatives if you are unsure what forms you need and when you need to submit them. If you have any questions, call our Customer Service Department at 301-572-3542 or 800-787-0021 or email