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How do you explain surgery to a toddler?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Write-brained, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. My three-year-old is undergoing outpatient surgery tomorrow. It's a fairly common procedure that should correct some problems she's been having but I'm really nervous because they're going to put her under. It's her first time and these chronic problems have made her frightened of hospitals.

    Any parents out there with experience in these matters? How would/did you explain this?
  2. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    WB, I don't have kids but I'm sure this is nerve-wracking. Good luck.

    As for the explanation, here's the best I've heard: I had knee surgery as a teenager and was in a full leg brace, all wrapped up and scary-looking, for a while. One day I went outside to get the mail and saw the neighbors, who had four little kids. The youngest, about three, looked really worried and asked what was wrong with me. I didn't know where to begin answering, so the mom just said "her knee hurt, so they had to cut it to make it better." That was a good enough explanation for the kid.
  3. girl friday

    girl friday Member

    write: first, I want to send along my very best wishes for your little girl. my princess is 4 1/2 and I know how much you worry when they're healthy, let alone when they're less-than-so.

    here's my two cents: tell her she's going to take a nap, and hopefully, when she wakes up, she'll feel a lot better/her problems will go away. if there's a medicine or other treatment she has to do that she doesn't like that maybe you won't have to do post-surgery, highlight that. most of all, and I'm sure you know this, just reassure her that everything will be OK, and that you'll be right there when she wakes up.

    and a new toy/DVD/book or a big balloon (don't they all love balloons?) will probably help too.

    i hope everything turns out well :)
  4. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    Can't take balloons in latex-free hospitals, just an FYI. But she had better get a good toy out of this!
  5. girl friday

    girl friday Member

    point taken, Cadet. I was thinking about one of those big foil ones, the shapes and such. those dang things cost at least $12, but at least they last a while...
  6. Thanks, girls. Didn't think about a toy, to be honest with you. That's a good idea.

    I've thought of the nap thing. I'm pretty sure that's how I'm going to explain it. I'm just not looking forward to it.

    Thanks again.
  7. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    Ooh, good call on the foil balloon. That should make her day!
  8. Update: Surgery went well. We're home. She's fine. Just miserable and a bit pissed off.
  9. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    Tell her to take out her frustrations on this guy:

  10. Montezuma's Revenge

    Montezuma's Revenge Active Member

    Just tell her that if he never wakes up again, it means she's in heaven.

  11. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    W-B, glad to hear she's ok. I think all of us with little ones can sympathize. Hope you got her something to cheer her up. It's amazing how materialistic the little buggers are, isn't it?

    And Montezuma, I was going to quote that and respond, but I'd suggest deleting it instead. Not funny. Not one tiny bit.
  12. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    Glad to hear it, WB. Miserable and cranky is nothing a little ice cream can't fix. [/pms]
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