How to Prepare Your Child for Orthopedic Surgery

Girl in HospitalIf your pediatric orthopedics doctor has scheduled surgery as a treatment, the days leading up to it can be a challenging and scary time for your child. Fortunately, there are steps you can take as a parent to lessen your child’s fears. Here are some tips to help reduce stress your child may experience before surgery.

Preoperative Visits

Many pediatric orthopedics teams offer preoperative visits to help children feel familiar with their facilities and staff. This familiarity helps a great deal when it comes time for your child’s surgery.

Children are shown a hospital gown and other equipment. If your child is older, the doctor and/or orthopedic specialists will be on-hand to explain the procedure.

Talk Openly with Your Child

Make sure you speak honestly with your child about what they can expect during and after the procedure. When your child has this knowledge, it can help lessen stress brought about by feelings of not having control.

When you speak to your child, use language and concepts appropriate to their age. The expressions and information you give your toddler will differ quite a bit from what you might tell a 6-year-old.

When you speak honestly to your child about their procedure, you empower them by making your child a part of the process.

Be Present for Your Child

It’s important to be physically and emotionally available for your child during this stressful time. You should make sure to take enough time off that you’re able to spend time with your child both before and after their procedure.

Ensure that you also have extra help and resources to make your child’s procedure as smooth as possible. Assistance moving and caring for your child after the surgery will help your child adjust and will also allow you to get some rest.