Preparing the Infant for Surgery
It's important to keep your baby's routine the same before the day of surgery. Make sure you, your baby, and your family are well rested.
Preparing the Toddler for Surgery
Read books to your toddler about going to the hospital. Keep any explanations simple and be careful of the words you use.
Preparing the Preschooler for Surgery
One of the major fears preschoolers have is fear of the unknown. Tell your child about the surgery several days before the procedure and perhaps even visit the hospital for a tour.
Preparing the School-Aged Child for Surgery
Have your child explain back to you what is going to happen in the hospital. School-aged children sometimes will listen carefully, but not understand all that was said.
Preparing the Teenager for Surgery
Allow your teen to be part of the decision-making process. Encourage him or her to make a list of questions to ask the doctors and nurses.
Preparing Siblings for Surgery
When your child goes to the hospital, brothers and sisters may feel afraid, worried, or confused. They are often afraid simply because they do not know what to expect, and they may imagine the worst.
Surgery and the Breastfeeding Infant
If your baby requires surgery, you may feel helpless. But there’s something you can do to make the experience a little less traumatic: breastfeed. Not only is it comforting for your baby, but nursing will provide the most nutritious and easily digestible food for a healing body.
When Your Baby Needs a Test, Procedure, or Surgery
Talk with your baby’s health care provider about being present as much as possible for the test or procedure. Child development experts say it’s best to keep to a minimum the amount of time your child is separated from you at this age.
When Your Toddler or Preschooler Needs a Test, Procedure, or Surgery
Your toddler or preschooler is able to grasp on some level what is going on if you keep explanations simple and short.
When Your School-Aged Child Needs a Test, Procedure, or Surgery
By age 7 or 8, school-aged children are starting to develop coping skills as they think more logically and begin to understand cause and effect—if this happens, then that may happen. This way of thinking helps them find ways to cope with scary or stressful experiences.
When Your Teen Needs a Test, Procedure, or Surgery
During the adolescent years, abstract thinking begins and teens can fully understand how parts of the body function, the medical problem he or she is experiencing, and the reason for the test, procedure, or surgery.