Preparing your Child for Surgery: 3 Steps to Help Reduce Their Stress
Going under the knife can be intimidating and overwhelming for adults, let alone for kids. While avoiding talking about the scary experience all together can often feel like the answer, properly preparing your child for surgery will lead to an empowered surgery process for both of you. Today, then, we’re offering up our top three tips for opening up conversation and reducing the fear of an upcoming surgery for your little ones.
- Explain what’s happening.
Any parent knows just how perceptive and intuitive kids can be. While wanting to shield your child from certain realities of surgery makes sense, it’s also important they have a clear idea of what’s happening. Preparing your child for surgery starts with letting them know why they’re having surgery and what they can expect. Bring your child in the room with their surgeon for a conversation and allow them to meet their anesthesiologists beforehand if possible as well. You want your child to have a clear picture of what the day will involve and to feel comfortable with (or at least recognize the faces of) the people who will be involved on the day of. When you get home—or somewhere where they are comfortable—be sure to have a separate conversation with them where they can open up more.
- Allow Them to Experience Their Emotions
When it comes to preparing your child for surgery, helping them feel empowered throughout the pre-op process is key. Allow your child to experience their emotions and fears around surgery—rather than shielding them from all aspects of it. Work with your child before their pre-op appointment to come up with a list of questions they want to ask their doctor—and be sure you make a point to validate your child’s emotions before immediately jumping in with, “There’s no reason to be scared!” or “Everything will be fine!”
- Do what you can to make them comfortable.
Depending on your child’s age, you might want to bring a comfort item (a favorite stuffed animal, a familiar blanket, a photo they like) with them—and be sure to bring a few things to keep them entertained as you wait. Drinking ClearFast Preop up until two hours before their surgery is also a great option for the little ones, as it makes fasting easier and helps with the post-op nausea that often accompanies being administered anesthesia on an empty stomach. On top of that, make sure you are with your child up until the very last moment you can’t be and ensure you’re there when they wake up—nothing eases fear like a familiar face.
Want to learn more about how ClearFast makes for a smoother recovery for little ones? Read all about ClearFast and the science behind its ingredients here—or reach out to the ClearFast team at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions at all!