Friday, June 5, 2015

How to prepare a child for surgery

If you've been following my blog for a while then you'll be aware that bub has many health issues including numerous food allergies and eye problems. Back in April she underwent eye surgery for her turned eyes. We didn't really have a chance to prepare her for the surgery. She was slotted into a cancellation spot so we only found out a few days before the surgery.

As we might have to deal with surgery again in her future, the team at HealthInsuranceComparison.com.au have put together a post for me about strategies to prepare children for surgery. Hopefully these tips come in handy for some of you too if you find yourself needing to prepare your child for surgery.



Preparing a Child for Surgery

Surgery can be a traumatic experience for children, especially if they have not been emotionally prepared for what to expect. As a worst case scenario, this could even lead to a lifelong fear of hospitals and doctors. Preparing your child for elective surgery can help your child to feel calmer about the procedure and aid their recovery process but it can be very difficult to know how best to talk to them about it.
What to Say
Your child is likely to be apprehensive about the upcoming surgery and may be scared of what it will involve. Helping them to overcome their confusion and anxiety will therefore be a big part of the preparation process.
To begin with, try to ease any fears that your child may have about the surgery and explain in simple terms why it is needed. At its most simplest, this can simply involve letting them know that an operation is needed to fix a particular situation, along with a brief explanation of why this is. It’s not particularly necessary to say too much about the actual ins and outs of the operation as this can cause more alarm for your child but it can be helpful for you to know more about what is involved. This can help to ease your own anxiety so that you can speak calmly and reassuringly to your child.
Many children are worried that surgery will be painful. You can reassure them that they will be asleep throughout the procedure and won’t be aware of what is happening during surgery but explaining this can also be a delicate challenge. Once they are aware of the concept of being anaesthetised, children can be afraid that they will come round too early or that they will not wake up at all. You could choose to dress it up as a special type of medicine that will help them to stay asleep during the operation and ‘stop’ once it is over so that they wake up very soon afterwards. It can also help for them to know that you will be there when they do come round. If your child is still very worried about the anaesthetic on the day of the operation, it may be possible for them to be given a mild sedative to relax them.
Your child may also be concerned about the aftermath of the operation and what their recovery will be like. As with the surgery itself, it can help for them to know what to expect in this respect.
Body Language
What you choose to say to your child is undoubtedly going to be crucial but it can actually be only half the story. If your words and your body language don’t match up, you could make your child nervous without realising it. Remember that your tone of voice, facial expressions and general demeanour can all give away what you are really feeling. If you seem afraid, it’s therefore very likely that it will cause your child to pick up on your anxiety and be fearful too. Knowledge can be power in this situation; if you’re feeling calmer about the situation, it’s less likely that your body language will unnerve your child.
For your choice of doctor and private hospital room, check out healthinsurancecomparison.com.au and compare health insurance policies now.
At www.HealthInsuranceComparison.com.au, we’re all about helping more Australians to understand health insurance and find the best cover for their needs and budget. Whether you’re just trying to get a feel for the market or you’ve already got a very good idea of what you need to be covered for, we’ll help you to find a policy that works for you.

8 comments:

  1. Yeah I think it's very important to prep a child for something major like a surgery to keep them calm and reassured.

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely, especially as they get older and understand it all more.

      Delete
  2. There is nothing worse than a sick kid and I can only hope against hope we don't have to think about surgery in the future. However, being realistic, this probably will happen and these are great tips - especially the body language ones. Kids are very perceptive - too perceptive sometimes! Hope things start to look up for your bub x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Its amazing how perceptive they are isn't it? She's doing much better now and her eyes are settling down nicely.

      Delete
  3. I'm glad your daughter is doing better - it must have been so scary for you as well, going through that experience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep it was the most stressful day of my life {other than the day I gave birth, although I think this may have been scarier than that}.

      Delete
  4. My boy's going to have to go for eye surgery some time next year. I'm so sad about it. But thanks for these tips. I think they'll help when the time comes x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is scary Grace but I just kept telling myself it was what's best for her and it was going to make life better for her. She's so much better now and its only been 2 months.

      Delete