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Children's Hospital at Dartmouth Hitchcock (CHad)
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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
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