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Preparing the Preschooler for Surgery

Picture of a young girl, smiling

What part about surgery is most stressful for a preschool child?

Preschool-aged children can certainly benefit from preoperative planning, education, and explanations. This preparation should take place several days before the procedure, to give your preschool child an adequate amount of time to prepare. Recognizing what is stressful to your preschool child while in the hospital can guide you in preparing him/her for the surgical experience. Common stressors and fears in the hospital may include the following:

How do I prepare my preschool child for surgery?

Helpful books for you and your child:

Anne Civardi and Stephen Cartwright. 1993. Going to the Hospital. EDC Publishing. (ages 3 to 6)

Fred Rogers. 1997. Going to the Hospital. The Putnam Publishing Group. (ages 5 to 6)

Deborah Hautzig. 1985. A Visit to the Sesame Street Hospital. Random House/Children's Television Workshop. (ages 4 to 7)

Richard Scarry. 1995. Big Operation: The Busy World of Richard Scarry. Aladdin Paperback.

Debbie Duncan, Nina Ollikainen (Illustrator). September 1995. When Molly Was In The Hospital: A Book for Brothers and Sisters of Hospitalized Children. Rayve Productions, Incorporated. (ages 4 to 7)

Paulette Bourgeois, Brenda Clark (Illustrator). 2000. Franklin Goes to the Hospital (volume 25). Scholastic, Inc. (ages 5 to 7)

Virginia Dooley and Miriam Katin. 1996. Tubes in My Ears: My Trip to the Hospital. Mondo Publishing. (ages 5 to 7)

Juliana Lee Hatkoff, Craig Hatkoff, Marilyn Mets (Illustrator). 2001. Good-Bye Tonsils!. Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. (ages 4-8)

Norman Bridwell. 2000. Clifford Visits the Hospital. (Clifford the Big Red Dog ). Scholastic Inc. (ages 4-8)

H.A. Ray. 1999. Curious George Goes to the Hospital. Rebound my Sagebrush. (ages 4-8)

Barbara Taylor Cork. 2002. Katie Goes to the Hospital. Peter Bedrick; 1 edition. (ages 4-8)

Joanna Cole and Bruce Degar. 1989. The Magic School Bus: Inside the Human Body. Scholastic, Incorporated. (age 6 to 9)

S. Jennings. 2000. Franklin Goes To The Hospital. Scholastic. (ages 3 to 7)

B. Pace, K. Hutton. 2002. Chris Gets Ear Tubes. Kendall Green Publications. (ages 4 to 8)

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