Tips for preparing your school-age child for surgery
Active participation by children in preparation for healthcare procedures is a good way to reduce anxiety and increase compliance during medical experiences. And the older the child, the earlier in advance you should begin preparation.
Akron Children's offers these guidelines to help you prepare your school-age child for a procedure:
- Focus on the purpose - to help your child get better as soon as possible and to return home. Sometimes kids think they're being punished. You can find out if your child has any misconceptions by asking a few questions.
- Be honest. To the best of your ability, describe how the test will feel. And give him permission to cry.
- Explain the procedure in correct medical terminology, explaining terms your child doesn't understand.
Use visuals to better illustrate the part(s) of the body or organ that will be involved. Videos that show peers explaining, demonstrating and undergoing the same procedure also helps for this age group.
- Stress the benefits of the procedure and anything that your child may find pleasurable afterward, such as feeling well enough to participate in favorite activities.
- Suggest ways for maintaining control, such as counting, deep breathing and thinking of pleasant thoughts.
- Include your child in the decision-making process, such as the time of day the procedure will happen, if possible.