My child of four years (and eight months) is soon having surgical treatment. I want to prepare them in the best way possible for the trip to the hospital and best manage any distress around the associated procedures to undergo surgery.
Note this is not a request for medical advice - we have that available. The condition being treated is an umbilical hernia and the recommended treatment is a short surgical operation under general anaesthetic.
The hospital are obviously experienced at giving care on the day of surgery, but I want to support my child as best I can, giving some advance warning and support.
In particular, I want to:
- give reassurance; I want them to feel safe and as content as possible in the lead up to and during the process.
- avoid deceptive information and surprises; I want to ensure my child is not traumatised and continues to trust me and my partner at the end of the process.
- justify the need for surgery; tricky as it's not necessary, but is the normal treatment for such a condition, though it may re-occur so I don't want my child to feel their body is inadequate or "wrong".
Many parents must have gone through something similar - what did you do that you felt worked well? Would you do anything differently looking back? Are there any resources you have found that would help? There are some very good medical TV shows aimed at children, including Get Well Soon, and I plan to watch the episodes Operation and Cannula with my child.