Toddlers: 1-3 years
When to Prepare: Plan to begin preparing your toddler the day before his/her procedure. Preparation too far in advance may increase anxiety.
Common Stressors for toddlers: Separation from parents; loss of comforts; contact with unfamiliar people; medical equipment; not being able to move freely.
Ways You Can Help
- Use clear, simple, honest language to explain what your child will see, hear, and feel at the hospital.
- The more calm and relaxed you are, the more calm and relaxed your toddler is likely to be.
- Offer choices whenever possible (i.e., which toy or item they would like to bring).
- Explain who staff are and what they will do before it happens.
- Offer simple explanations, while being aware of your wording. For example say “The doctor is going to fix your leg” rather than “The doctor is going to make a cut on your leg.”
- Read books with your child about going to the hospital.
Supporting Your Child as Anesthesia is Being Started (Induction)
- Read a favorite book
- Singing, counting, or storytelling
- Blowing bubbles
- Watching a movie
- Listening to music
*We have toys, music, movies, and books available at the PainFree Program or you can bring items from home
Additional Items to Consider Bringing
- Diaper or pull-up
- Extra set of clothing
- Favorite sippy cup and snack for AFTER the procedure
- Stroller - helpful to use when leaving the hospital