Preparing a Child for Surgery

Being in the hospital can be upsetting for your child, as well as for the whole family. Recognizing the common fears that your child has at each stage of growth and development can help you in preparing him/her for the experience ahead. Some of the ways to prepare include the following:

  • Become as knowledgeable as possible about the surgery planned for your child.
  • Be truthful with any information. Answer your child's questions truthfully, according to his/her age and developmental level.
  • Read books about hospitalization with your child.
  • Take your child on a scheduled hospital tour.
  • Give your child choices, when possible.
  • Make an appointment for pre-operative preparations with a child life specialist who can provide age-appropriate explanations using medical teaching tools.

Listed in the directory below is some additional information regarding preparing your child for surgery, based on his/her age and stage of development, for which we have provided a brief overview.

If you cannot find the information in which you are interested, please visit The Child Having Surgery Online Resources page in this Web site for an Internet/World Wide Web address that may contain additional information on that topic.

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