Preparing Yourself for Your Child's Surgery  

Hospitalization can be a stressful, anxious time for children and families. Here are some tips to make the day go smoothly:

  • Be informed. Write down questions you may have about the surgery itself and the postoperative care.
  • Remember to take care of yourself. Be prepared for the surgery day so you can take care of your child.
  • Attend the "Surgical Discovery" preoperative tour offered through St. John’s Children’s Hospital. Call (217) 544-6464, ext. 76857 to learn more.
  • Dress your child in loose comfortable clothing. This will make the trip home more comfortable. Bringing an extra set of clothes is always a good idea.
  • Allow your child to bring a pacifier, favorite blanket, toy, or stuffed animal or all of the above. It brings comfort and security for the child.
  • The surgery time could change, and recovery time is unpredictable, so please do not plan anything else for this day.
  • Your child will require special attention on this day. If possible, make other arrangements for siblings and remember the sitter’s phone number.
  • Bring a bucket or pan along with several towels for the journey home in case your child becomes sick. (Vomiting is due to anesthetic and is not uncommon after surgery.)
  • Remember the calmer you are the easier it will be for your child to stay calm.