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Preparing Your Child

Preparing children for surgery or a hospital visit can help them feel less anxious and get through the recovery period faster. The key is to provide information at your child's level of understanding, correct misunderstandings and get rid of fears and feelings of guilt. Help your child understand why the surgery is needed and become familiar with the hospital and some of the procedures he or she will undergo.

Tips on Preparing Your Child

  • Listen to your child
  • Be honest about what will happen and what may hurt
  • Use short, simple terms your child knows
  • Reassure your child that if something hurts, there are ways to help the pain, including medicine, relaxation, listening to music and playing games
  • Use a stuffed animal to show what will happen and encourage your child to ask questions and talk about his or her fears
  • Reassure your child that you will be with him as much as you can
  • If your child seems uneasy with talk about the hospital or clinic, stop and try again later
  • Reassure your child that having to go to the hospital does not mean he has done something wrong
  • Encourage your child to bring toys or activities from home to play with during waiting times


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