Steps to prepare your child for surgery.

It is not an easy time for parents or children but there is a lot you can do to help them

As a parent, it isn’t easy if your child needs to have a surgical operation and no matter how small it maybe it will still cause you some worry and stress. Preparing your child properly is key to allowing the routine go plain sailing and there are lots of things you can do to make the experience easier for you and your child. Here we have put together a few tips collected from parents who have gone through the anxious time of bringing their child to the hospital for an elected surgical procedure and we hope it helps you and your child.  
  • Talk to your child- The beauty of knowing that your child is going to be having a planned surgical procedure rather than an emergency one is that you can explain to your child about the surgery in plenty of time. The doctors will tell your child what will happen but once home you need to remind your nipper and close to the date of the surgery have a little sit down and ask your child do they want to know anything. 
  • Read books about hospital and watch shows- There are plenty of books on kids going into hospital in your local library or bookstore and many kids shows have an element of a sick child in it at one point. You can google up episodes of their favourite shows like Peppa or Doc McStuffins avoiding Grey’s Anatomy of course! 
  • Get your child a doctor’s kit- Your child may or may not be interested but you are offering them a chance to learn about the things a doctor uses to check their patients. Together you can both look up the utensils in the doctors set and learn about it. 
  • Explain why the surgery is needed and how it will help- If your kiddie needs a surgical procedure they should know why and how it will benefit them afterwards. Some children are unaware if they are ill or how bad things are but you should try and explain as carefully as you can about their health and how things will improve because of their surgery. 
  • Be clear about the process- Some children will have lots of questions whereas others will not want to know the intricate details but let your child guide you in this respect. Explain to your child about the anaesthetic and how it will take their pain away and how after the procedure they will need to be careful. Don’t shy away from the recovery period as your child needs to understand to be fully prepared.   
  • Offer a treat for afterwards and ask family to make a fuss of your child- Once the procedure is over and recovery has started you can let your child have a little treat and should use this as an incentive for your child. It is a lot for a child to have to go through so you should make a fuss of your nipper and let others do so too. 
Written by Emma Hayes. Emma is a writer with Family Friendly HQ and also writes her own parenting musings over at

Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a busy mum to two girls aged 17 and 11 and is married to her childhood sweetheart.

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