Surgery is a scary time for anyone- especially for children that are undergoing surgery. Regardless of your child’s age, surgeries are terrifying for both the parent and the child. Though this is a trying time for the whole family, your child needs you now more than ever for your support and reassurance.
Getting Your Child Through the Surgery
You may not have that much time to prepare your child for surgery. In certain situations, you’ll have less time than you hope to spend with your child before they enter surgery. Read through the following ways you can comfort your child before an upcoming visit to the hospital.
1. Talk it Over with Your Child
You’ll need to be delicate as you talk to your son or daughter about surgery. Depending on their age and maturity level, you’ll have to hold back when discussing certain things. Start the conversation by reviewing what will happen during their upcoming surgery.
2. Prepare to Care for Your Child Infection-Free
Before and after your child’s surgery, you’re going to want to have everything prepared to make sure you properly care for your child’s needs. You’ll need an antibiotic soap like Hibiclens to keep your child’s skin free of germs.Benefits of Hibiclens soap include the significantly reduced risk of infection and germ-killing abilities for up to 24 hours.
Use this soap on the days leading up to the surgery to lower your child’s risk of developing an infection post-op. After the surgery, use the soap to properly care for their needs before they return home. Along with the soap, be sure to have a set of pajamas, comfortable clothes, their favorite blanket, and anything else that will make the recovery process easier.
3. Make a Point to Keep Anxiety Away
It’s hard to not freeze up when you hear your child has to have surgery, but this is an important part of preparing your little boy or girl for the big day. By showing zero signs of anxiety, you’ll be able to control the way your child views surgery. Try to be upbeat and energetic when discussing their “visit to the hospital“. By keeping your own stress and fear out of the picture, your child will never need to be afraid.
4. Have Comfort Objects Close by for Your Child
Comfort objects will help your child be more comfortable during the time before the surgery. Your child will be able to hold on to something that makes them happy as they get ready for a surgery that they may not understand.
5. Bring Your Child’s Favorite Food and Clothes
In addition to stuffed animals, you will want to keep your child’s favorite food and drinks on hand when they wake up. After the surgery, they will have their comfort foods of choice when they are able to eat again.
6. Use the “Show and Tell” Method to Explain the Surgery
Use a book or drawing to explain to your child where they will be receiving surgery. This is a good time to discuss what you hope will happen during the surgery and what might happen if something doesn’t go well.
7. Be Supportive Throughout the Process
In the days leading up to the surgery and the day’s after the surgery, you will need to be particularly sensitive and supportive. Understandably, they may act out of character and will need a break from typical everyday activities.
Keep your child home from school or daycare for a few days to a week prior to the surgery and throughout the recovery. Encourage openness and reassurance as you talk to them about the surgery. Following the surgery, let your child know that they can take as long as they need for the recovery process.
Whether your child is going in for a minor procedure or headed to the hospital for a major surgery, stay strong, be positive and keep the preceding tips in mind.