Having to take your child to the hospital for even just one night or longer, can be traumatic and worrying for someone so young.
As someone like personal injury lawyer rosenthallevy.com can confirm, there are numerous circumstances that can involve a prolonged stay in hospital. Your main priority as a parent is to make sure that your child is going to be ok and to be able to reassure them by providing with some pointers as to what they can expect when they get there.
Comforting words and actions
Going into hospital for evaluation, observation or an operation, can be a scary experience for a child, which is why one of your main objectives as a parent is to provide enough comforting words and actions to soothe their anxieties.
Providing the right level of comfort to your child is really important, regardless of their age, and it will prepare them for any potential separation anxiety that they might experience, if you have to leave them for a period of time.
The common reaction from any child when they find themselves in an unfamiliar environment is to experience a heightened sense of anxiety and fear about what is going to happen to them, so aim to provide as many comforting words and actions as you think your child needs in order to cope as well as possible with the situation.
Honesty is often the best policy
All parents have a built-in instinct to protect their child from danger and bad things that could scare them, but when it comes to preparing them for a forthcoming medical event, it is often better to be open and honest with your child about what is going to be happening.
There are means and ways of presenting the information to them in the right way of course, but as a general rule, any child over the age of one, could benefit from a certain level of preparation prior to undergoing a procedure.
Discussions with medical professionals can involve your child directly alongside you, if you feel that they are old enough to understand what is being said and the implications. Even if you want to shield your children from certain details, there is often a way of telling them what is going to be happening, in a way that they will understand.
There is no question that providing your child with a good level of information and knowledge about why they are in hospital and what is going to happen, will help them to cope better.
Getting back to normal
Talk to your child about what you are going to be doing after the operation and give them reassurance that you will be there waiting for them afterwards, and make plans for returning home afterwards.
When you and your child are back home from hospital, it is to be expected that they may be a bit clingier and fearful than usual. Your aim is to get back to normal as quickly as possible and settle into your usual routine, but children recover at different rates, so just keep providing the comfort and support they need, as you would do as a parent anyway.
Charles Spencer works in finance and is Dad to 7 year old Kyle. Recently Charles and his wife had to make an emergency visit to the hospital where Kyle underwent surgery and remained for a couple of weeks. He shares his ordeal with other parents, giving first hand advice.