4 Ways to Emotionally Prepare Your Child for Surgery

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Post on 19-Jan-2017



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    4 W A Y S T OE M O T I O N A L L YP R E P A R E Y O U R C H I L DF O R S U R G E R Y

    Mason Mandy

  • Timing is key


    Use your senses

    Providing comfort and support

    / / O U T L I N E

  • Timing is keyJust like adults, children vary in terms of how theymentally process new challenges or informationbefore a certain life event. In this sense, somechildren cope better when they have an extendedamount of time to think about a topic, whileothers experience more stress if given anexcessive amount of time to dwell on an event. Asthe parent, you know your childs needs betterthan anyone and need to take the appropriatesteps to ease their mental and emotional healthbeforehand.

  • Toddler: 1 or 2 days beforesurgeryPreschool: 3 to 5 days beforesurgerySchool-age: At least 1 to 2 weeksbefore surgeryTeen: From the beginning (oldenough to be active in theirhealth)

  • Familiarization Reading your child stories that talk familiarizethem with the medical process or even howunintimidating a hospital is in general will helpthem to ease their worries about steps movingforward. Another great way to familiarize yourchild with hospitals is to take a quick tour withchild life specialists, which are medicalprofessionals trained to guide your child throughthis process. Also, most childrens hospitals offertours before open hours or the day before thesurgery would occur.

  • Use your senses

    The next step is to prepare your child for anysensory experiences he/she is going to bothduring and after the surgery is complete. Thebest way to go about this is to find interactivevideos or pop-up storybooks to help your childunderstand this overall process better.

  • Providing comfort and support

    Allow your child to ask questions, express

    concerns and feelings and talk about

    surgery when he/she is ready. The main

    takeaway point here is to be honest with

    your child in a way that does not make

    he/she nervous about the surgical


  • Keeping an ongoing list of questions to ask

    your doctor on surgery day will also ease any

    concerns you may have before your child

    undergoes the procedure. To ease any

    nervousness your child may experience

    beforehand, packing a hospital bag with a

    some comfort items such as a toy, his/her

    favorite game, and other objects will help them

    feel at home during their visit.