For parents: Preparing your child
Before your visit
Telling your child about cardiac surgery or catheterization can cause a lot of stress and anxiety for you as a parent. You may be worried about how to approach these topics with your child, when to tell your child and what words to use.
We understand that every child is a unique individual. Each child's age, past hospital experiences, temperament and coping techniques can affect how he or she deals with the upcoming procedure.
Here are some tips to help you through this difficult time.
Before you arrive at Boston Children's
The time before a hospital stay can be very stressful, since everyone is anticipating the experience in his or her own way. It's important to be aware of how your child may be feeling. Look for mood changes and worried facial expressions, so you can address your child's feelings even if she cannot express them verbally.
This is also a good time to create communication between your child and her siblings and friends. It’s difficult for young children to grasp the concept of surgery, especially the words "open heart surgery."
Our Child Life specialists can help you before, during and after your hospital stay. Boston Children's Child Life specialists can be reached at 617-355-6551.