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How to explain surgery to a child (as a parent)

How to explain surgery to a child

Although surgeries are often associated with adults, it’s not unheard of for a child to require a medical procedure. From infants to adolescents, any surgery can be an unfamiliar and uncomfortable subject. Most parents would agree that they’re more concerned than the child. Learn how to explain surgery to a child so that the entire scenario goes as smoothly as possible.

1. Stick to simple language

When you initially discuss a procedure with your child, keep any complicated language out of the conversation. Remind yourself of the child’s age and level of maturity.

Talk about how the procedure will help the child and make life better in the future. Tell him or her about the doctor who’ll heroically take on the challenge, such as pediatric surgeons Austin. Improving the child’s well-being may make him or her feel more positive about the procedure than before.

2. Don’t surprise the child

It’s important to update the child with the information that they need to know. Don’t lie or cover up critical details as surprises on the procedure day will only create more stress for them and that’s unfair.

Your child should understand the basics of the procedure and the ultimate goal. Also, have a conversation about what post-surgery recovery will look like, especially if you are likely to be immobile for awhile.

Reputable doctors follow this logic too for how to explain surgery to a child. They’ll often sit down with the family to cover any questions well before the procedure date.

3. How to explain surgery to a child? Be there

Regardless of the procedure’s type, children will need their parents’ full support. Put down the cellphone, and keep your eyes on the youngster.

There may not be any conversation at the moment, but your presence makes all the difference in the world. The love and compassion will give the child courage during the procedure.

That’s not surprising when you learn that research backs the importance of nonverbal cues in parent-child communication.

4. Distract with toys

If your boy or girl is young enough, preoccupy them with toys right before the procedure to help calm him or her down. Stuffed animals are particularly helpful, not to mention teddy bears having a comforting ability that can lessen anxiety at any age.

During this time, your child can ask any last-minute questions while cuddling with the toy. That leads to open discussion that’s important when it comes to how to explain surgery to a child.

Now is the time when your child comes to terms with a pending procedure.

A final tip for how to explain surgery to a child:

5. Focus on optimism

The recovery time for any procedure can have some pain associated with it. Try to encourage an optimistic outlook during this time period.

Point out that several cartons of ice cream may need to be eaten after a wisdom-tooth extraction, for example. Talk about all of the trees that can be climbed after a pediatric trauma is corrected at Austin Pediatric Surgery too.

Lastly, discuss every option with your doctor before agreeing to any procedure. With today’s technology, there are a host of options that are minimally invasive in most cases. Your child can thrive into adulthood as a result of your efforts.

6 thoughts on “How to explain surgery to a child (as a parent)”

  1. Wonderful post. It always amazes me how resilient children are. With strong, dependable parents, they are even tougher! This is an excellent article for “bedside” reading!

    1. Just the other day, a mom said to me how resilient her son was after being sick – Your comment brought back that conversation for me right now. Thanks for such an appreciative comment here x

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