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How To Prepare Your Child For Surgery At Each Age

Doctor comforting child before surgery.

No matter the type of surgery your child is having, as a parent you are going to be anxious. In preparing them for surgery, it is important to prepare yourself too so you can convey a sense of calm and reassurance. Once you do that (or fake it) here is how to prepare your child for surgery at each age.

Preparing Newborns And Infants

Start by acquiring all the information you can including what to expect after surgery. Keep everything normal at home before the surgery. Bring a toy or favorite object to the hospital for your little one to keep him or her calm and distracted from the strange sounds and smells.

Ask Pediatric Neurosurgery Group how and if you can participate in pre-surgery like being present when anesthesia is administered.

The more you understand about the surgery the calmer you will be.

Keep It Simple For Toddlers

Preparing a toddler for surgery is as simple as maintaining a positive attitude. Whatever the surgical issue is, tell them they will feel better after they have surgery because their doctor is going to fix it.

Continue to reassure them as surgery time approaches and let them participate in activities they love like coloring or listening to you read a book. Keep your voice and body language calm and reassuring which will in turn affect them.

Facetiming with grandparents might be a great way to comfort them.

Preparing School-Age Kids

Older and more aware of what surgery is may impact your child in a positive way. They want to be “grown up”, but don’t be fooled. They will still be anxious, and they will also be more aware or in tune with your mindset.

Explain they will take a nap during the surgery and will feel nothing. Let them know you will be close by — right in the nearby waiting room — and will see them as soon as surgery is over.

Tweens And Teenagers Preparation

In some ways teens are more savvy and familiar with surgery they have seen on TV and online. This can work both ways. It may make them more fearful or will give them a sense of normalcy.

If possible, allow them to participate in discussions with Pediatric Neurosurgery Group about what will happen and let them ask questions. Don’t leave them out, or they will think you are hiding something.

Headphones and smart phones for communication and to play games will serve to relax them prior to surgery.

As a parent, be sure YOU have full knowledge of what the surgery entails and what you should expect after you bring your child home to recover. It is always helpful to speak with the anesthesiologist no matter your child’s age.

Contact Pediatric Neurosurgery Group with any additional questions about preparing your child for surgery.

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