How To Reduce Your Child’s Fear Of An Upcoming Medical Procedure
Your child needs elective surgery and a date has now been scheduled. While you are slightly anxious about the procedure yourself, you are more worried about your child. Unlike with emergency surgery, elective surgery isn’t done immediately, you are given a date and time and have to wait for it to come around. This gives you time to prepare your child for their surgery, but it also gives them time to become exceedingly anxious about it.
The good news is that there are steps that you can take to help make your child feel more comfortable and less anxious about their procedure, whatever it may be. The key to helping prepare your child for surgery (and reduce their fear of their procedure) is to provide them with information about the treatment - just make sure it's age appropriate. Here’s how to do that, as well as how to calm them down and relieve any anxieties that they may have:
Explain what their procedure is for and how it’s performed
The number one reason that a lot of children are scared of undergoing a medical procedure is that they don’t know what to expect. The best way that you can help your child to feel better about the medical procedure that they are going to undergo is to talk to them about it - explain to them what’s going to happen and allow them to ask you any questions. Say, for example, your child is undergoing a circumcision procedure, explain to them (in an age appropriate way) what is going to happen and let them ask you anything that they want to. The chances are, the thing that they will be most worried about is the pain, so it’s important to reassure them that they won’t feel any pain as they will be numbed or asleep, depending on the procedure that they are having.
Tell them that you will be at the hospital the whole time
A lot of kids are scared of being left on their own in an unfamiliar place, which is why it’s important to tell them that you will be at the hospital the whole time. Most hospitals are now very accommodating to parents, allowing them to stay with their children all the time, day and night. Reassure your child that you won’t be going anywhere, and they should soon start to relax.
Give them something to look forward to
To help make the idea of having surgery more appealing, give your child something to look forward to post-surgery. This could be planning a family vacation to somewhere that they have always wanted to go, it could be a day trip to a local theme park, a toy that they’ve been wanting for ages, or even just a trip to the local ice cream parlor. It doesn’t matter what the treat is, all that matters is that you are giving them a little something to look forward to.
There you have it, everything that you need to know to reduce your child’s fear of an upcoming medical procedure. Take note of the above tips and advice, and you can ensure that your child goes into the hospital feeling as calm and relaxed as possible.