Understanding Medical Problems

3 Tips To Prepare Your Child For Their First Surgery

Having to take your kid to a child surgical center can be a nerve-wracking experience for everyone involved. It can be especially difficult if your child is very young and unfamiliar with the concept of major surgery. If you want to give your child the best chance of making it through the treatment mentally unscathed, you'll have to put some work in ahead of the surgery. Here are three tips that could help you prepare your child for his or her first brush with surgery.

Make Sure Mommy and Daddy Are Calm

Yes, this article is about what you can do to keep your child calm going into surgery, but if your child notices that the adults in the room are a nervous wreck, he or she is likely to follow suit regardless of what advice you try to give. If you need a moment to cope with the gravity of the situation, make sure you do this behind closed doors in your home before you face your child. When explaining the surgery and especially when you are about to head to the appointment, it is critically important that you maintain a calm and collected demeanor.

Encourage Questions and Feelings

When delivering news of the surgery to your child, find a quiet place to talk and encourage your child to speak to you about the situation. Answer any questions as delicately as you can and allow them to express any feelings they might have about what's going to happen. Most importantly, be honest as much as possible, as this will help your child build trust in you going into the appointment.

Watch Your Language

During the initial discussion with your child and in the days leading up to the surgery, it is important to maintain a positive vibe. Children can clue in on specific words quickly, and you don't want to say anything that could be reason for alarm. For example, whenever a child gets a cut or a scrape during a fall, they associate those words with something negative. So you don't want to say anything like, "the doctors are going to cut you open to find out what's wrong." Instead, you could say, "the doctors are going to take a look inside you to make everything better."

If you want your child to be calm for his or her first surgery, you need to make sure you and your spouse are calm first. Then, be sure to choose your words carefully and encourage your child to speak their feelings on the situation as much as possible. Contact your local child surgical center today and see if your child can visit the center or the doctors ahead of the surgery if you think that will make them better prepared for the big day.