My child must have surgery

Operation tonsils, "yoyos" ... Your child must undergo surgery under general anesthesia: how to prepare and accompany the best?

The prospect of an operation is a hardship for both the child and the parents. They fear the separation, the pain that the child will feel. The child, meanwhile, sometimes feels a confused sense of guilt: "If they abandon me, it's because I was not nice."

Even if you think a lot about the operation, do not talk too soon to the child . Try to be equal to yourself in the weeks and days before. Talk, a few days before the obligation to go to the hospital "so that you do not have more stomach pain", "to remove the little ball", etc. It must be said what the intervention consists of, in the simplest terms.

The younger the child, the later you will tell him about the hospital stay: one or two days, if it's a toddler. If the child is emotional, subject to nightmares, just refer to it the day before and talk about it during the day at leisure: it is necessary that his mind has time to get used to this idea and you have, for the help, a lot to say.

You will talk to the child about how he will be sleeping: he will be brought to eat in his bed, he will not need to get up to go to the bathroom. Answer all his questions. Talk about the clothing of the nurses and the doctor. Explain the reasons for the mask, gloves, wheelchair or rolling bed. Explain the anesthesia, tell him that he will wake up in a special room, the "recovery room", where he will be supervised by nurses and that he will then be transported to his room where you will wait for him. Tell him especially that there are other children who are operated every day, his cousin, a comrade, have been operated too.

Give him, for his stay in the hospital, toys that will allow him to exteriorize his fear or his hostility: doll, panoply of doctor, pencils for drawing, modeling clay, toys with characters. Not to mention his bear or the blanket which he does not separate.

If you are stressed about this operation, do not hesitate to talk to the medical team. Do not stay with your anxiety that may be transmitted to your child.

Departure for the operating room

The child is picked up and taken to the operating room. If you are present, this can be a difficult time for him and for you . What will reassure him the most will be that you say goodbye calmly, without extending the farewells. Let him go and give him a soothing image, and try to be there when he gets back to his room.

Prepare for hospital stay

Many hospital services offer parents a welcome booklet which confirms and complements the advice given here. You can also contact the Sparadrap association or P'tits Doudous to obtain booklets but also for advice and guidance: addresses of places accommodation near hospitals, contact details of parents' associations, etc.

Finally, on the site of Sparadrap, the children will find a space which is intended for them to become familiar with the hospital environment: visit of the various places and presentation of the persons working in the hospital, testimonies sent by children, etc.


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