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Preparing a Child for Surgery

Being in the hospital can be upsetting for your child, as well as for the whole family. Recognizing the common fears that your child has at each stage of growth and development can help you in preparing him or her for the experience ahead. Some of the ways to prepare include the following:

  • Become as knowledgeable as possible about the surgery planned for your child.

  • Be truthful with any information. Answer your child's questions truthfully, according to his or her age and developmental level.

  • Read books about hospitalization with your child.

  • Take your child on a scheduled hospital tour.

  • Give your child choices, when possible.

  • Make an appointment for preoperative preparations with a child life specialist who can provide age-appropriate explanations using medical teaching tools.

Listed in the directory below is some additional information regarding preparing your child for surgery, based on his or her age and stage of development, for which we have provided a brief overview.

Preparing the Infant for Surgery

Preparing the Toddler for Surgery

Preparing the Preschooler for Surgery

Preparing the School-Aged Child for Surgery

Preparing the Teenager for Surgery

Preparing Siblings for Surgery

Last Reviewed Date: 06/13/2011
© 2000-2014 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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