HOW CAN A PARENT HELP?
The anesthesiologist and the surgeon will do their best to make your child’s visit as pleasant as possible; however, you also have a key role to play in your child’s care. It is important that you being preparing your child for the operation as soon as a decision is made to perform surgery.
As with all of us, children have natural fears of the unknown. Anything you can do to relieve these anxieties will greatly improve your child’s experience.
Before you explain to your child what to expect, you also must learn what to expect. It is very important to learn about your child’s anesthetic experience beforehand by discussing it with the anesthesiologist.
Once you learn the process, you will gain confidence and be better able to talk calmly and honestly to your child. Honesty is a keyword. You child should be told that he or she will be in unfamiliar surroundings but will meet many friendly doctors and nurses and that they will have some work done. However, terms like “needles” , “ shots” , “ injections”, “ pulling teeth” should be avoided in young children. Most children under 5 y.o. do not understand the process of sedation. However, any detailed information to be discussed is up to the parent’s discretion.
Your composure as a parent is essential. Nothing calms a child more than a confident parent. Although it is natural for parents to have anxiety when their children are having surgery, it is best not to convey this to your child.