Preparing a Toddler - Age: 12 months to 3 years
Fears: separation, abandonment and immobility.
- Prepare your toddler for the hospitalization/surgery 1-2 days before the event, if possible.
- Allow your child to bring his favorite stuffed animal, blanket or security item.
- Involve yourself as much as possible in the care of your child and reassure your child
that you will be with him as much as possible.
- Allow for independence and autonomy when possible. Give your child choices -
"Do you want to hold still by yourself or do you want help?"
- Keep a positive attitude.
- Give simple explanations ("You need to have surgery so the doctor can fix your leg.")
- Reinforce positive behaviors.
- Explain procedures/surgery in relation to your child's senses.
- Play with doctor kits prior to admission to explore your child's feelings.
- Read books (Book Resources for Parents) about Cardinal Glennon prior to admission.
For more helpful information, click on the following links:
What Happens When You Go For Your Test
Back to Child Life Services