It was not very long ago that you brought your child home from the hospital for the first time. Going to hospital for an operation is scary, for both the kids and the parents. The whole experience can be an overwhelming experience for some people. As a parent, you might not have had surgery yourself and don’t know what to expect. Or some of us have had negative hospital experiences ourselves and we might worry for our children.
There is nothing that we can tell you that will stop you from being anxious. What we can help you with however, is some tips and tricks to make the process go more smoothly and reduce your stress. And yes, there are some parents out there, cool as a cucumber, whom these tips will help too.
You know what they say – knowledge is power – and education for you and your family about the surgical procedure is the first step towards reducing stress about surgery. The first time you go to the specialist, you may feel so overwhelmed with information that you forget everything. Call back, make another appointment or arrange to speak to somebody over the phone. Also have pen and paper handy so you can write down key points or further questions.The internet can be a great source of information, but it can also be harmful. There are many websites and databases that provide information that may be misleading. Always read or watch with a discerning eye, and stick to trusted websites. Around 70% of people will research a surgery or their symptoms on the internet before the big day.
Speak with your child
Some children are far too young to understand what is happening. The key, no matter what their age, is to use appropriate language, be honest with them and answer any questions they might have. If you don’t know, speak with the clinic again and find out the answer. It will be easier on them if there are no nasty surprises.
Take a comfort toy, book or blanket
Bring something comforting and familiar for your child to hold. Increasing your child’s comfort will make the experience easier for them, especially if they have something to cuddle up to. Also note that a child’s hospital bed is their safety zone, much like their bed at home. Give lots of cuddles and support while they are in the hospital bed.
Sometimes all they need is a big cuddle from mum and dad at the end of the day before they go to sleep. Hospitals are flexible with families and allow a parent to stay. Speak to the hospital to arrange to stay overnight with your child.
If you have any questions about your taking your child to hospital or your child’s upcoming surgery with us, please call 1300 123 368.