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Preparing your child

Preparing your child

Preparing your child

Hospitalization can be a stressful time for your child and your family. The unknown of the hospital environment can be frightening.  Our goal is to help our patients, parents and caregivers better understand the surgical or treatment process in order to help remove some fears and inhibitions. Parents and caregivers, we encourage you to help your child prepare, as this can make the hospital experience a positive one.

A few tips:

  • Your feelings about hospitalization can affect your child’s emotions and behaviors. This is a challenging time for you, but the more you show a positive attitude when discussing the upcoming stay at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Canada, the more comfortable your child will be.
  • Honesty is the best policy. Answer your child’s questions openly and honestly. Keep your answers general and don’t promise anything. You can tell your child that you do not know the answer to a question. In these situations, let your child know that you will check with their care team. 
  • Our team will work with you and your child to help you prepare for the upcoming visit and know what to expect.

Pre-operative clinic

A few days or weeks prior to surgery, patients who are to undergo surgery (and will not be admitted to the hospital the day before surgery) are asked to come to the pre-operative clinic with their families for a pre-operative evaluation. The appointment date/time for the pre-admission clinic will be given to you by the secretary at the same time the surgery date is set.

During this visit, the doctor will assess your child’s pre-operative condition and determine if any additional tests are required before surgery. In addition, a nurse will teach you about pre and post-operative care. For children under the age of 5, one of our child life specialists will use age appropriate tools to teach and reassure your child about the upcoming hospital stay. Family members and patients are encouraged to participate and actively ask questions during the pre-admission visit. Please bring a list of your questions and concerns to ensure that all these are answered to your satisfaction.

Please note that you are required to bring your child’s medications in their original containers (or a recent list from the pharmacy), including over-the-counter drugs, natural products, vitamins, etc., as well as the vaccination record.