Be honest with your child about where they are going. Do not lie to your child.
Reassure your child that they will be asleep during surgery and will wake up after surgery.
Reassure your child that a family member will be with them when they wake up after surgery.
Younger children (about eight years and under) should have things explained in terms they will understand. For example, you might tell your four-year-old that they will have an operation to "fix their tummy" or to "make their tummy better" and that they will be asleep when they have their operation. It may also help to have your younger child pick one item, such as a favorite toy, blanket or stuffed animal, to bring to the hospital for security.
You can begin to prepare your younger child a week or so before surgery by giving information about what will happen. If your child is 3 years or under or very anxious, you might wait until the week of surgery or just a few days before surgery to start talking about it.
Older children and teenagers (about 9 years and older) should be given as much detail and information as they can handle. Try to encourage your child to ask questions. Help your child to think of ways to make waiting for surgery easier, such as bringing a book to read or music to listen to through headphones.
Older children and teenagers can usually be prepared before surgery at about the same time you prepare. However, if he is very anxious or has a developmental delay, you might wait until the week of surgery to talk to your child in more detail.
These age ranges, and guidelines are suggestions. All children are different. You know your child best, and you should use your judgment about how and when to prepare your child.
This will vary by the age of your child, but in general, children cannot eat and drink after a certain time prior to their surgery. If you do not follow these fasting instructions and your child receives anesthesia, serious complications can occur, including death. It is extremely important that you follow the fasting schedule that has been discussed with you.
|Child's Age||Food||Formula/Breast Milk/Formula or Breast Milk with Thickeners||Water, Pedialyte, Apple Juice|
|0 - 6 Months||Stop at midnight||Stop six hours prior to the surgery or procedure time||Stop four hours prior to surgery or procedure time|
|7 - 12 Months||Stop at midnight||Stop eight hours prior to the surgery or procedure time||Stop four hours prior to surgery or procedure time|
|1 year and older||Stop at midnight||Not applicable||Stop four hours prior to surgery or procedure time|
If you believe your child may be catching a cold or flu or becoming ill in some other way before his surgery, please contact the Arkansas Children’s Surgery Department at 501-364-1334 and your child’s primary care physician. Your surgery may be canceled on the day of if you do not notify us of your current illness.
Patients may be accompanied by as many as two adults, who are over the age of 18. If your child is under the age of 18 or cannot consent for themselves, at least one legal guardian with consenting privileges must be present. In order to be able to direct your full attention and care to the patient having surgery, we ask that you leave your children under the age of 18 with another caregiver as they will not be allowed in the waiting room.
After passing visitor management at the main entrance of the hospital, you will walk straight past the gift shop and go up the orange elevator to the 2nd floor. After getting off the elevator, take a right and go through the double doors. Here, you will be greeted by staff to get registered for surgery and meet with financial aid if needed.
There are three major ways that your child may have anesthesia started (called "induction"):
Your child’s anesthesiologist will decide the best method of anesthesia induction for your child.
Before you go home, we will give you surgery discharge teaching information. This may include several pieces of paper. Please let your nurse know if you need a school or work excuse note. On our your child’s postoperative care instructions, there will be phone numbers listed for you to call if you have any problems, questions, or concerns about your child’s health.
We will explain:
“Teach Back” is a special way of teaching our patients and families to ensure that we are teaching the information in a way that makes sense to you.
What can I do to help make my child’s surgery go smoothly and safely?
Written educational materials are available from the Surgery Department. Please call 501-364-1334 if you would like to request that either of the following pamphlets be sent to you.