Is your child going into surgery soon? In this article, we’re going to provide five tips on preparing your child for any surgery during this scary time.
The thought of surgery for any person is a scary one but, where a child requires surgery, it can feel even worse for both the child and their loved ones. Your child may be very confused, not understanding what is going to happen to them, especially if they have never experienced a surgical procedure before. Questions they might have include whether you’ll be with them, if you can hold their hand, whether it will hurt, whether a surgical mistake could happen, and more.
As a parent, your child needing to have surgery can be upsetting, but you have to remember you need to stay strong for your child. As soon as you get upset or scared, they could reflect these emotions, which is not what you want. So, it’s important that you prepare yourself and them.
In the US, approximately 450,000 children are admitted for surgery every year for various reasons. Thankfully, the wonderful team of surgeons, nurses and doctors can take special care of you and your child. Keep reading to learn five ways to prepare your child for a surgical procedure…
1. Prepare Yourself First
As a parent, the last thing you want is for your children to experience any type of pain or inconvenience to their life. Where they do, it can severely impact how you are personally feeling. For this reason, you need to prepare yourself first before you can prepare your child.
The first thing to do is talk to their doctors, the surgeon, nurses, and whoever else is assisting with your child’s surgical procedure. Ask them questions that are on your mind and see what you can find out about their condition and the surgical procedure. This way, you’re not only aware, but also know the next step on preparing your child.
Some of your questions could include:
- How long will the surgery take?
- How long will they need to remain in the hospital?
- How long will the recovery process take?
- What pain medication will they receive?
- Can the surgery be done when they are older?
- What care will they require after?
Once you are aware of what will happen on the big day, you need to learn to keep your emotions intact. Children sense these things, so it’s important for you to remain calm and relaxed so that they can do the same.
2. Answer Your Child’s Questions
Depending on the age of your child, they may have a number of questions about the surgery and how the day will pan out. The best thing to do is honestly answer them and ask them if they have any concerns that you can address.
3. Plan For the Day
Depending on the type of surgery your child is undergoing, they may have to be in hospital for a couple of days. Even if it’s just one day, you want to be prepared and have everything you need to make them feel at ease and comfortable before and after the procedure. This could include bringing a bag full of things such as books, DVDs, toys, games, treats, their favourite blanket and more.
Remember, it’s your child’s surgery day, so it’s worth asking them what they would like to have there to comfort them. They might select their favourite movie, a book they’re currently reading, or their cuddly teddy that they can’t sleep without. It might be worth even letting them pack it, making them feel as if they’re in control of the big day.
Lifehack provides a helpful list of what you should bring to the hospital for your child’s stay.
4. Follow the Pre-Procedure Instructions
Before a person undergoes a surgical procedure – especially one which puts them under general anaesthetic – you will likely receive instructions on how you should prepare your child for the surgery. This is most often to do with food and drink, and prohibiting it after a certain point the day prior.
The UK NHS website provides a before surgery guide to help you remember everything.
5. Make Your Child Feel Comfortable the Day Before
The nerves will certainly be there the day prior to the surgical procedure, both for you and your child. The best thing you can do to make yourself both feel prepared for it is to have a fun-filled day, so they are at ease and not focused on thinking about the surgery coming up.
This could be having a day snuggled up in bed or on the sofa with cosy blankets and lots of cushions watching your favourite movies or shows. Perhaps you could even have some yummy junk food (but keep in mind the food cut off point, as suggested in the pre-procedure instructions).
Another great way to make them feel comfortable and at ease is running them a bath. This is also helpful where they may not be able to have a bath or shower for a couple of days/weeks after the procedure.
The Thought of Surgical Procedures Don’t Have to Be Scary
What we can conclude from this article is that, while the initial thought of a surgical procedure on your child can be a terrifying thought, if you prepare properly for it, your child will be okay. It’s probably true that you, as a parent, will be worrying more than they are.
Is your child undergoing a surgical procedure? How are you preparing? Let us know in the comment box below[AP1] .Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained medical professional. Be sure to consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if you’re seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this