If your toddler's having surgery, you'll be better able to prepare him if you know what he's worried about and how you can help.
What is your child concerned about?
- He's worried about being away from you
- He may think that going to the hospital is a punishment for something he did wrong
- He may be frightened of medical equipment
How can you help prepare your child?
- Don't give him too much time to think. Toddlers don't understand the concept of time, so tell your child about the surgery only one or two days ahead of time.
- Give him a sense of control. Allow him to choose a stuffed animal, blanket or favorite toy to bring to the hospital.
- Be as calm and patient as possible. It's normal for toddlers to be fussy and "act out" before and after the procedure.
- Remember, the best medicine is you. Your touch and voice will comfort your toddler more than anything else. Reassure your child that his surgery isn't a punishment and that you'll be there with him as much as possible. You may find reading him a book about surgery — one that's aimed at his age group — calming for both of you.