Health Tip: Prepare Your Child for Surgery

How to calm her fears

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(HealthDay News) -- If your child needs surgery, she'll probably be afraid and curious about what will happen -- and turning to a parent for comfort and answers. Here are some suggestions on what to tell her, courtesy of the Nemours Foundation:

  • Be honest. If you don't know the answer to a question, ask the doctor and then explain it to the child. Answer questions honestly, but be sure to use language that's not frightening to your child.
  • Make sure she knows that you'll be outside the operating room waiting for her during the procedure, and that you'll be in the room with her when she wakes.
  • Keep your explanations simple, and appropriate for both your child's age and personality. If she is a worrier, only tell her -- honestly -- what she needs to know.
  • Tell her that she will fall asleep before the surgery starts, and that she will be asleep during the entire thing and won't feel any pain. Make sure that she expects some discomfort and maybe even some pain after she wakes, but that she will have medication to keep her comfortable.
  • Stay calm and relaxed. Your attitude will have an impact on your child's reaction to what is happening around her.

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