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Helping Siblings Prepare for a Brother or Sister's Surgery





Siblings may also worry when they don’t know what is happening. 

  • They may think the worst if not given accurate, developmental appropriate information.  


  • They may worry about the safety of their sibling.


  • They may also worry about any change to their own daily routines.


  • They may be jealous of the attention and extra time parents may spend with their sibling.


  • They may have misconceptions about why this hospitalization is happening.


  • They may worry that they may “catch” the same problem. 




Siblings need preparation, too.  They may not know what is happening and have questions.  

  • Prepare them with age-appropriate, honest information.  


  • Reassure them that you’ve made plans for someone to care for their daily needs, including meals, rides to school and activities.  


  • Maintain as much of their daily, familiar routine as possible.   


  • Encourage them to read (or read with them) books about the hospital experience:


I Wish I Was Sick Too!  by Franz Brandenbert


When Molly Was in the Hospital: A Book for Brothers and Sisters of Hospitalized Children   by Debbie Duncan and Nina Ollikaien


My Brother Needs An Operation by A.M. Jawarski


The Hospital Book by James Howe


You and your child can also read this online picture book account of a little girl's surgery experience at Baystate Medical Center.