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Children's Hospital at Dartmouth Hitchcock (CHad)
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School-aged Children: 5-12 years

When to Prepare: Plan to begin preparing your child one week before his/her procedure. Preparation too far in advance can cause more anxiety.

Common Stressors for School-Age children: Loss of control; fear of pain or anticipation of pain; fear of needles or shots; fear of waking up during the procedure.

Ways You Can Help

  • Explain why he/she is having the procedure. School-aged children may feel they have done something wrong and the procedure is their punishment for being “bad.” Explain the benefits of your child’s procedure (i.e., “After your arm has healed, you will be able to play baseball again.”)
  • Choices can increase your child’s sense of control, so offer them when appropriate and possible.
  • Ask your child to explain back to you what is going to happen at the hospital. This can help you know whether your child has a clear understanding of what to expect.
  • Encourage your child to ask questions, and provide them with honest answers.
  • Encourage your child to share how they are feeling about their upcoming hospital visit. Let them know anything they are feeling is ok.
  • Read books with your child about going to the hospital.

Supporting Your Child as Anesthesia is Being Started (Induction)

  • Reading a book or storytelling
  • Singing or listening to music
  • Telling jokes
  • Guided imagery or thinking of a “happy” or “vacation” place
  • Watching movies or playing video games
  • I-spy games

* We have toys, music, movies and book available at the PainFree Program, or you can bring items from home

Additional Items to Consider Bringing

  • Change of clothing/underwear
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