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Preparing the School-Aged Child for Surgery

What part about surgery is most stressful for a school-aged child?

Picture of a young girl, holding her softball bat and glove

School-aged children can benefit from preoperative planning, education, and explanations. This preparation should take place a week or two before surgery since preparation too far in advance can produce more anxiety. Recognizing what is stressful to your school-aged child while in the hospital can guide you in preparing him/her for the surgical experience. Common stressors and fears in the hospital may include the following:

How do I prepare my school-aged child for surgery?

Helpful books for you and your child:

Claire Ciliotta and Carole Livingston. 1992. Why Am I Going to the Hospital? Lyle Stuart. (ages 5 to 12)

James Howe. 1994. The Hospital Book. Morrow Junior Books. S. B. Stein. 1985. A Hospital Story. New York: Walter and Co.

Lisa Ann Marsoli. 1984. Things To Know Before You Go To The Hospital. Silver Burdett Co.

Debbie Duncan, Nina Ollikainen (Illustrator). 1995. When Molly Was In The Hospital: A Book for Brothers and Sisters of Hospitalized Children. Rayve Productions, Incorporated. (ages 4 to 7)

Virginia Dooley and Miriam Katin. 1996. Tubes in My Ears: My Trip to the Hospital. Mondo Publishing. ages 5 to 7)

Paulette Bourgeois, Brenda Clark (Illustrator). 2000. Franklin Goes to the Hospital (volume 25). Scholastic, Inc. (ages 5 to 7)

Deborah Hautzig. 1985. A Visit to the Sesame Street Hospital. Random House/Children's Television Workshop.(ages 4 to 7)

Marianne Johnston and Erin Mckenna. August, 1997. Let's Talk About Going To The Hospital. The Rosen Publishing Group, Incorporated. (ages 8 to 9)

Francine Paschal. 1991. Twins Go To The Hospital: Sweet Valley Kids Series #20. Bantam Books. (ages 6 to 8)

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