Surgery can be a frightening prospect, not only for a child but also for parents and other family members. The staff at Cleft and Facial Cosmetic Surgery Center offers compassionate support for everyone involved in the pediatric surgical case. We encourage you to contact us with questions regarding your child’s condition, the need for surgery, and how to traverse the appropriate treatment protocol. Here, we discuss a few ways that a hospital experience may be improved for the patient as well as for parents.
Honesty is the Best Policy
One of the most important aspects of a child’s wellbeing is to know that parents will protect them. It may feel counterintuitive to tell a child that he or she will need to stay in a hospital for a few days, away from the comforts of home. However, avoiding the topic altogether can leave a child feeling confused and rather betrayed. More than feeling frightened, a child will struggle with being lied to. So don’t. If your child is old enough to understand the basics of surgery and being in the hospital, we will work with you to explain the process in terms that are reassuring.
Do a Dry Run
We aren’t suggesting that you stay apart from your child for any amount of time. A “dry run” is more related to getting to know the hospital environment. Some facilities offer tours. Taking part in a tour adds a degree of information that can benefit a child by making him or her feel more prepared. One of the prominent fears that children have is the unknown. The more information that can be provided, in the appropriate manner, the better.
All in a Day’s Work
You may have heard the adage that play is a child’s work. This can be used to your (and your child’s) advantage in preparation for surgery. Younger children may enjoy getting to play with a make-believe medical kit. More than entertainment, though, this type of play can build a sense of familiarity with medical care in a way that is non-threatening to wellbeing.
You are not on your own to manage difficult medical situations such as cleft lip or palate or other craniofacial defects. Call our Metairie office for a surgical consult or prenatal counseling. We’re here to help you.