How can you help?

How to help your infant/toddler

  • Bring a comfort item from home (blanket, special toy, stuffed animal)
  • Ask questions and be informed. The more comfortable you are, the more comfortable your child will be. Infants and toddlers will feed off of your emotions, if you are upset the child will most likely be upset.
  • Be honest - Even with toddlers it is ok to talk about what is going to happen. One or two days before the surgery is the best time to talk to a toddler, as they do not understand the concept of time
  • Remember, behavior changes/fussiness is not uncommon before or after a procedure

How to help your pre-school/school-age child

  • Be honest
  • Attend a surgery tour, if possible
  • Use a play doctors kit to help your child express their feelings about the surgery
  • Tell your child about the surgery with enough time for them to understand but without giving them too much to develop fears

              - preschoolers (3-5 days before)

              - school-agers (week or two before)

How to help your teen

  • Keep your teen involved in all aspects of planning the surgery
  • Be honest and supportive
  • Attend a surgery tour, if possible
  • Encourage the teen to talk about any concerns

My Surgery Worksheet