Here at Alaska Pediatric Surgery, we want only the very best for your kids, especially when it comes to their health. That’s why we do what we do, performing pediatric surgery in Anchorage. Surgery is stressful for your average person, much less someone who is brand new to the world. For those of you who are nervous about how your child will handle their surgery, here are some basic tips for preparing them beforehand.
Timing Is Important
All children cope with things differently, so parents should use their best judgment when deciding the appropriate time to inform them about their surgery. You know your kids better than anyone else. However, this general timeline has proven helpful for some parents:
Toddlers — Tell one to two days before surgery.
Preschool Age — Tell three to five days before surgery.
Elementary/Middle School Age — Tell one to two weeks before surgery.
Teenage Years — Tell when surgery is decided to promote them taking an active role in their healthcare.
We all know that children are essentially just “why?” machines, and it can get frustrating answering question after question. But when preparing for surgery, any bit of preparation you can give them for what they’ll experience at the hospital can help. Let them make an ongoing list of questions, that way you can answer them more at your convenience.
People learn things differently when they do them as opposed to just hearing about them, and this is especially true of children. To actually prepare them for what they are about to experience, a simple game of doctor can give them an idea of what to expect. This will be a great chance for them to express fears that come up about the surgery.
Bring Comfort Items
A favorite stuffed animal, a blankie, a toy they love, bring something that has nostalgia value for the child. Especially if they use it at home when afraid of the dark, or during scary movies, it will provide much needed comfort and a feeling of safety to have with them at the hospital.
Hopefully these tips will prove helpful when preparing your child for their surgery. It is certainly a stressful experience, so we would like to do everything we can to make it easier here at our Anchorage pediatric surgery clinic. If you believe your child has a condition which requires surgery, or would like to ask questions about preparing for a surgery currently scheduled, please feel free to give us a call. One of our knowledgeable and friendly representatives will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.