Story by: Joe Hall on October 25, 2018
The idea of surgery can be frightening and overwhelming for any child. As a parent, you’re probably worried too. Fortunately, a little preparation can help reduce everyone’s fears and improve the experience.
“Having a plan and knowledge of the situation can help kids and parents feel less anxious about anesthesia and surgery, and get through the recovery period faster,” said Mary E. Fallat, M.D., pediatric general surgeon with Norton Children’s Hospital and the UofL Physicians. “The key is to provide information at your child’s level, correct any misunderstandings and calm any fears.”
Dr. Fallat said kids of all ages cope much better if they have an idea of what’s going to happen and why the surgery is necessary. To do this, parents should prepare themselves first and correct any misconceptions of their own.
“If a parent is anxious or nervous, a child often will mimic these feelings and behaviors,” she said. “We encourage parents to ask questions and become educated and more comfortable with the process.”
Once you’re comfortable, you can start preparing your child for the big day. Here are some age-appropriate tips to help:
All ages may have clear liquids (drinks you can see through) up until two hours before surgery. When to withhold food will vary by age.
Norton Children’s is the destination for pediatric surgical care in Louisville, with convenient access from Southern Indiana.