Preparing Your Child for Surgery

Our mission is to provide the highest quality of healthcare to your child. Increasing communication and the involvement of parents as a part of the team at Dell Children’s makes the job of supporting children and families easier during times of a stressful healthcare experience.

For additional information about preparing your child for surgery or hospitalization, please call the Surgery Child Life Specialist at 512-324-0000 ext. 86302.

Before Your Child Has a Planned Surgery or Hospitalization

  • Ask your physician and staff at the hospital questions so that you and your child will know what to expect.
  • Be honest! Telling your child the truth about what will happen and how things will feel will let them know what to expect. Be sure to use simple explanations suitable for your child’s development.
  • Listen to your child’s questions and talk about them. If you don’t know the answer, write the question down to ask later.
  • Allow your child to explore with real or pretend medical equipment on stuffed animals or dolls before going to the hospital and when he/she comes home. This helps your child to express feelings and feel more in control.
  • Read Curious George Goes to the Hospital or other stories about healthcare experiences.
  • Let your child pack special things to take to the hospital. He/she can pack pictures of your family, books, videos toys, comfort items (stuffed animal, blanket, or pillow), schoolwork or even favorite pajamas or clothes to wear home.