At UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital, we care for children of all ages. When it comes to preparing for surgery, a toddler and a teenager will have different needs. These tips will give you some guidelines for preparing your child, no matter what his/her age.
For infants and toddlers, the disruption in routine is difficult. This is also the age when separation anxiety runs high. Here are some tips to consider:
The disruption in routine is tough for preschoolers as well. This is the age when “magical thinking” sets in, meaning that children link things that are not connected. For example, it is easy for preschoolers to develop misconceptions — that something they did caused the surgery. Try these tips for preschoolers:
School-aged children tend to worry about time away from friends, school, sports and other activities. They will cope better with more knowledge about the surgery.
Here are some tips to consider:
Teens have many of the same anxieties as grade school children, but these worries may be more intense. A teen might worry about losing independence and about how the surgery may affect his/her body. Download our Teen Surgery brochure.
Tips for teens include:
Learn about what to do the day before your child’s surgery.