Taking your child to the hospital for treatment can be a confusing and emotionally taxing experience. And as a parent, you're required to serve a dual role, as both loving family member and patient advocate.

"Parents are an integral part of their child's health-care team, even in the hospital," says Karen Bergan, parent leader and chairwoman of the Family Advisory Council at Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of New York-Presbyterian.

"You know your child best, so listen to him, and trust your instincts, Bergan suggests. When meeting with your doctor, communicate your thoughts, and don't forget to ask lots of questions."

In addition, follow the council's top 10 tips to care for you child with confidence:

1. Take notes, and include names and contact numbers for your child's medical team.

2. Store the nurse's station phone number in your wallet so you can call anytime for updates on your child.

3. Give the nurses your contact information so you can be reached anytime.

4. Ask your medical team about the care plan for the day, and write it down.

5. Always repeat information back to the doctor or nurse to confirm your understanding.

6. Write down questions as you think of them—even if one pops in your head in the middle of the night.

7. Refer to your notebook when talking with doctors.

8. Ask for as many explanations of a diagnosis, "labs," or test results as needed until you understand the information.

9. Note any changes in your child's appetite, energy level, mood, pain levels, or other areas, and share this information with the health-care team.

10. If you think you child is in pain, contact the nurse immediately.