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Preparing Your Child for Surgery




When you find out your child needs surgery, you need to prepare the child for the experience.


Coming to the hospital may seem overwhelming, but the more informed you are, the easier it will be for both you and your child.     

  •   First, prepare yourself
  •   Then you can begin to begin to prepare your child. 



Share this charming first-hand account from a little girl's point of view


with any child scheduled for surgery.   Read it now.....



ASK questions of your surgeon and the people who book the surgery. 

  •   Be sure you know what procedure will be done and why and how it will be done.
  •   Be careful not to promise your child anything unless you are sure that is accurate.
  •   Be sure to take care of yourself too! 

o  Ask your family and friends for help if you need support.

o  Use hospital resources such as social workers and financial advisors

o  Sometimes a Baystate chaplain can help. 




Every child is different, so consider these tips when you prepare your child:


  •  Provide age appropriate information ahead of time. 

o  Surprises can make the experience scarier, so it’s important that YOU have the correct information.

o  Children will do better if they have been told in simple, honest terms:

      •  What will happen
      •  Where they will be
      •  Where their parents will be. 
  •  Choose your words carefully and avoid words that may intimidate your child. 


  •  Think about your facial expressions and the tone of your voice. 

o  If children think you are anxious, it will add to their worry.  


  •  Encourage your children to ask questions and talk about coming to the hospital.  It will help them process the experience and ensure they don’t have misconceptions. 






When communicating with your child about 

an upcoming hospital experience, use age 

appropriate terms and concepts to minimize

intimidation and worry.

We offer suggestions and tips for communi- 

cating with the following age groups.

Continue by choosing the age group that is 

closest to your child:




 School age



We also have suggestions for communicating 

with siblings of children preparing for surgery.