While surgery is something that many adults will find stressful, it can be a terrifying experience for young children. Unfortunately, parents will often be unsure of what they should be doing to prepare their child to undergo a surgical procedure. In order to help your child during this stressful experience, there are some simple tips that you should be following.
Stay Positive About The Surgery
As you discuss the surgery with your child, you will want to stay as positive as possible about it, but you should avoid misleading the child about what should be expected. It can be common for children to wonder why they are having to go through the surgery, and you should focus your answers on the benefits of the surgery. By helping the child to clearly associate the surgery with getting better, you may be able to drastically reduce the sense of dread and stress that they may be experiencing.
Explain The Recovery Process
One of the worst aspects of a surgery is the lengthy recovery that can follow. This is particularly true for major surgeries, as they can involve months of recovery. You will need to clearly and calmly explain what your child will experience as they recover. This should include a basic time frame, as well as the actions that will need to be avoided. If your child is normally very active and is suddenly unable to participate in their favorite events, this can lead to feelings of restlessness and depression. To help alleviate this problem during recovery, you should invest in supporting your child's hobbies or interests during this period to help keep them as mentally engaged and stimulated as possible.
Bring Something To Distract Your Child While Waiting For The Surgery
In the days leading up to the surgery, you may have to spend many hours consoling your child. While you may experience a lot of success in calming and preparing your child during the days before the surgery, much of this can be undone by the waiting area. The presence of very sick or injured people can be upsetting to children, and this may cause them to start to focus on their impending surgery. You can help to avoid this by providing your child with a toy, book, or other distraction. Keeping your child's mind occupied can prevent them from having the opportunity to overthink the situation and frighten themselves. Also, knowing that a favorite item will be waiting for them after the surgery can prove to be a valuable source of reassurance.
Contact a doctor at your local surgical center for additional information.