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Preparing the Toddler for Surgery

What part about surgery is most stressful for a toddler?

Picture of a child and his grandfather

Toddlers can certainly benefit from preoperative planning, education, and explanations. This preparation should take place a day or two before surgery since preparation too far in advance can produce more anxiety. Recognizing what is stressful to your toddler 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 toddler for surgery?

Ways to prepare:

Helpful books for you and your child:

Fred Rogers. 1988.Going to the Hospital. G. P. Putnam and Sons.

Deborah Hautzig. 1985.A Visit to the Sesame Street Hospital. Random House/Children's Television Workshop.

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

Joanna Cole and Bruce Degar. 1989. The Magic School Bus: Inside the Human Body. Scholastic, Incorporated.

Anne Civardi and Michelle Bates. 2002. Going to the Hospital. Sagebrush Education Resource.

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