Age Appropriate Ways To Talk To Your Child About Their Upcoming Surgery

Preparing Your Child for Surgery

The thought of undergoing surgery is frightening – especially for young kids and their parents as well. If your child has an upcoming operation, it’s critical that you have a thorough discussion with them about it.

Tell them what to expect and why they need the surgery, correct any misconceptions they might have, and help them get rid of their fears through comforting words. Encourage them to ask questions, make sure that you give them the right answers, and be honest. Most important of all, speak in a calm manner to assure them that there’s nothing to worry about.

Regardless of your child’s age, here are some other tips on how you can lessen their fears and worries:

  • Watch your words.

When explaining surgical procedures, use simple terms and see to it that you select your words carefully. For example, you can substitute the word “cut” with a term that doesn’t evoke fear, such as “open.”

  • Reassure your child.

Let your child know that everything will be fine once the surgery is over. Tell them that they’ll get out of the hospital as soon as the doctor gives the green light.

  • Allow your child to vent.

Expect your child to feel sad, afraid, nervous, and even angry. Having such feelings is totally normal. Let them release their emotions as much as they want to.

  • Be there for your child.

There’s no better way to show your support to your child than by being available for them at all times. Listen to them attentively, constantly assure them of your love, and give them hugs every day.

  • Educate yourself.

You must do your research first about the upcoming surgery before talking to your child. Read materials detailing their condition, the type of surgery they’ll undergo, and the procedures involved. The more informed you are, the more confident you will be in preparing them.

Ways to Help Your Child Manage the Stress of Surgery

It’s important to note that kids understand things based on their age. The words you use when speaking to a toddler should be much simpler than what you’d use when you talk to a 12-year-old. Another thing worth pointing out is that children’s concerns vary. Toddlers are worried about not seeing you again once they’re in the operating room. On the other hand, teens fear that life after surgery might restrain them from enjoying their usual activities.



  • Use a stuffed toy to talk to them.

Toddlers find comfort in toys, especially stuffed animals or their favorite cartoon characters. They’ll find it easier to open up when you speak to them through their toys.

  • Give a simple explanation of what happens inside the operating room.

Let your toddler know that the doctor will give them a special medicine to help them fall asleep and that by the time they wake up, the operation is already finished. Don’t forget to mention that you will be there once they’re awake.

  • Reassure them that the doctors and nurses will take good care of them.

Explain to your toddler that there will be plenty of adults who will watch over them – not just you and your spouse. Tell them not to be afraid of the nurses and doctors since they are their friends.

  • Play with your toddler.

If your child is nervous, distract them by playing the games they love most including board games, mobile games, or toy games – anything to keep their minds away from distress.



The above-mentioned recommendations are also ideal for preschoolers. Since their level of understanding is higher, however, you’ll need to elaborate more on your explanations. If you’re raising a preschooler, here’s how you can get them ready for surgery:

  • Inform your preschooler ahead of time.

Let your child know about their upcoming surgery 3 to 5 days prior so that they’ll have time to prepare themselves.

  • Explain the procedure honestly.

Tell your preschooler what happens before and after the operation takes place. Be mindful of your words as certain terms might frighten them.

  • Read books together.

Use books with drawings or pictures of medical equipment to give your preschooler a better understanding of what to expect.


School-Age Kids

Talking to a child between the ages of 6 and 12 about their upcoming surgery will require more effort from their parents. Children of this age tend to be more curious, so get ready to be bombarded with questions. Consider these tips:

  • Give them ample time to prepare.

We suggest you inform your child a week or two before their surgery. That way, they’ll be able to express how they feel about it.

  • Be honest.

As with younger kids, it’s important to provide an honest explanation regarding the procedure. Chances are, they will ask you plenty of questions, so make sure that you’re equipped with all the right answers.

  • Provide learning materials.

Look for age-appropriate books or videos to orient your child.


Be a Source of Comfort for Ailing Children in Your Area

Did you know that you can help bring health and well-being to sick girls and boys in your local area through a simple act of vehicle donation? By turning over any unneeded vehicle to Kids Car Donations, you’ll get to support leading nonprofit organizations that cater to suffering kids.

We’ll have your donated vehicle auctioned off, with the proceeds going straight to these IRS-certified 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations. These charities use the funding to help pay for the costs of the services they deliver to their young beneficiaries. These services include comprehensive medical assistance, emotional support, and relief of pain and trauma among others.

We take care of everything on behalf of our donors. From processing your papers to hauling your car away, you can count on us to get these things done in the most efficient way possible. The best part is, you won’t find yourself shelling out any cash!

Within 30 days after the sale of your donation, we’ll send you by mail your 100-percent tax-deductible sales receipt. You’ll need this receipt to claim your tax deduction when you file your itemized federal income tax return in the next tax-filing season.

You may head over to our FAQs page to learn more about our vehicle donation program. Got a question for us? Not sure that we’ll accept your barely functioning motorbike? Don’t hesitate to call us at 866-634-8395 or send us a message online.

Spark Positive Changes Now!

Dad lifting their child | Kids Car Donations
Photo by Micah Eleazar under Pexels License

It doesn’t take a lot of effort or resources to bring about positive changes in people’s lives. A simple car donation can make all the difference to the ailing children in your community. If you have an unneeded vehicle to donate, call us at 866-634-8395 or donate here now!