Preparing Your Child For Surgery
Simple ideas to make your child's upcoming surgery less stressful for both you and your child.
When your child faces surgery, it can be a scary situation for all involved, especially the child. With these simple ideas you can make the upcoming operation less stressful for your child. It's important for your child to know what to except.
Your child's doctor and the hospital where the procedure is to take place should be available for any questions. Most hospitals have videos to watch or coloring books that explain a hospital stay to young patients. Also, check with the patient services department to see if you and your child are able to tour the facility. When speaking to your doctor see she addresses your child's questions directly. If she doesn't, ask your child in front of the doctor if he understands what is going to happen and if he has any questions. Explaining the situation to your child instead of in front of your child will put him more at ease.
If your child will need to have anesthesia, find out how it will be administered and explain it in simple terms to your child. Although you want to be honest with your child, don't give too much detail if it will scare him. If he asks if it will hurt tell the truth, but try not to focus on the pain.
Also ask the hospital their policy on bringing in blankets or toys. Most hospitals will allow your child to have an object from home as a comfort item to keep him clam. Find out before surgery where and when you will be able to be with your child. It will be easier for both of you if this is known ahead of time. If your child will be staying overnight ask when the visiting hours are and if there is an age limit to the visitors. Depending on the unit, young children may not be allowed to visit.
Be sure to also find out if your child will need a special diet or special instructions, even if it is outpatient surgery, before it takes place. That way you will have all the needed supplies and foods on hand when you bring your child home. Ask if your child will be in pain. If so, find out the recommended pain medication and dosage you should give.
Simple planning and explaining can help elevate worry your child may experience before surgery.