Having someone you care about in the hospital is hard. You want to let them know you care and that you’re thinking about them.
The challenge is figuring out what is appropriate. This depends both on why the person is in the hospital and what they like. You also want to think about whether it is something they will be able to use in the hospital or have to take home.
Of course, sometimes you’re sending a get-well gift to someone who is sick or recovering from an injury at home, which can open things up a little. You can buy things without worrying about the effort it will take to bring your gift home or if anyone in the hospital might have an allergy.
Flowers are, of course, the classic get-well gift. Just about anyone will welcome flowers. They bring a bit of brightness to drab hospital rooms. I recommend choosing flowers that don’t have too strong a scent, as some people are sensitive.
Flowers don’t have to be in a bouquet either. If the person loves gardening, try getting some flowers in a pot instead. Then your gift can be there for a long time.
Candies are often welcome too. How welcome depends on what the recipient is getting better from and any other problems they might have. If they cannot or prefer not to eat candy, this won’t be so welcome.
Stuffed animals are very popular with sick children. It’s something soft and friendly when they aren’t feeling their best. Other toys may be welcome as well, depending on the age and interests of the child.
Reading material is another great gift idea. Being an invalid is BORING! This can be challenging, as you need to know a lot about what the person likes to read, but can be one of the most welcome gifts.
You may want to avoid anything that is too strong a reminder of what the person is not able to do unless you are absolutely certain that it will be welcome. That is, a child with a broken leg may or may not appreciate something to do with the sport he or she would otherwise be outside playing. This kind of gift can be either extremely thoughtful or utterly thoughtless.
If the person is in the hospital, be aware that latex balloons are no longer permitted in many hospitals because some people have serious allergies to them. If you want to bring balloons, stick with the mylar ones. You can get better messages on those anyhow.