Preparing for Surgery

What you do and say to get your child ready for surgery can affect how he handles surgery. If you would like to schedule a surgery preparation session, please complete the Surgery Preparation Session Schedule Form. Please find below a list of tips that can be used to help prepare your child for surgery.  

Babies

  • Bring familiar things from home (like blankets, toys, stuffed animals, pacifiers, sippy cups, etc.). We have some toys but having familiar things can make a big difference.
  • Be patient and calm. Your baby can sense if you are anxious. It may upset him.

Toddlers

  • Talk to your child 1 – 2 days before surgery.
  • Use simple words.
  • Bring familiar things from home.
  • Tell your toddler that going to the hospital is not punishment.
  • Use a medical play kit to show him things he may see. Ask a Child Life Specialist about the kits.

Preschoolers

  • Talk to your preschooler 3 – 5 days before the surgery.
  • Use simple words.
  • Ask your child about her thoughts and feelings about surgery.
  • Bring familiar things from home.
  • Use a medical play kit to show her things she may see. Ask a Child Life Specialist about the kits.

School Age

  • Talk to your child 1 – 2 weeks before surgery.
  • Be honest and realistic.
  • Ask your child about his fears and concerns.
  • Encourage your child to talk about how he feels.

Teens

  • Use correct words. Give honest information about the surgery.
  • Encourage your teen to ask questions.
  • Include your teen in plans and decisions.
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