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Advise on how much information to give 3 year old ahead of operation

(6 Posts)
helenlouisey Mon 15-Aug-11 16:44:01

hi ladies, just looking for a bit of advise, my little boy, who will be a month off 3 years old, is having an operation to correct a hydrocele (it's basically a hernia which causes abdominal fluid to collect around his testicle).

He is a very articulate and bright little boy who doesn't miss a trick, so I feel I should tell him something about the fact he's going to have an operation. But don't want to scare him or give him too much detail.

I just wondered what other Mum's of children his age did, what you said and when you told them. I waited till this morning to tell him that we were going to see a Dr today and the first thing he said was " am I poorly?" I explained to him that he was fine as didn't want to scare him, and said the dr just wanted to check his willy and his balls, and he replied "oh no what's wrong with them" again I just reassured him they were fine as didn't know what else to say. He was very good at the hospital and was fine letting the doctor look at him etc.

Any advise would be really appreciated


griffalo2 Mon 15-Aug-11 19:08:23

Hi,i dont help that much but my 5 year old is due to have same op next month.ive told him a little bit,just that he needs an operation so its not as planning to tell him more nearer the time.hes fretting already as he hates doctors and hospitals so im in, kind of the same, situation as in how much to tell him
I had a leaflet through with appointment saying to tell them what will happen on the day in language they understand.
Im planning on telling him about not being able to eat,needle which wont hurt because of magic cream,goin to sleep and waking up,just very brief.
Im hoping someone will be along to help you

griffalo2 Mon 15-Aug-11 19:10:21

Sorry suppose to be cant not dont

Shoulddohousework Tue 16-Aug-11 00:32:24

Hi, It is best to explain a little bit to them, do not go into lots of detail but let them know that they need to go into hospital and why, but be as calm as possible, explain that mummy/daddy will be with them and that they will have a special nurse to look after them.

If they are worried then if you contact the ward they are going to, most have a play specialist/friendly nurse who if you explain the situation will show you round the ward before the operation and explain what will happen and show them the equipment (they also do the same on the day of the operation!) sometimes it calms them down to know where they are going and meet the ward staff.

gasman Fri 19-Aug-11 08:59:50

I'd do general hospital books to introduce the idea gradually.

There might be stuff on your hospital website. Some hospitals have more than others.

The Rees Bear leaflet has been specially designed to deal with anaesthetic things.

Speaking to friends may give you an idea of how things are organised at your local hospital or you may get a tour/ pre op visit.

I was able to talk my friends son through his visit to the hospital in which I work as well as his Mum doing lots of chatting/ reading about going to hospital. He is normally pretty anxious in new situations but it went really well and he amused my colleague endlessly by asking lots of hilariously accurate questions about his anaesthetic. He was 4 and still talks about when he went to visit Gasman at work despite the fact it was 3 years ago (I wasn't even there I was at home with his brother!)

Suzannesee Fri 19-Aug-11 14:54:58

Some years ago I heard of a midlands hospital which had a jolly pair of dolls with zips to open up various limbs and interior organs which might be involved in the op. It even had a circumcised willy.

The child was encouraged to play with the doll along with the nurse, enabling her to explain (without too much detail) all the little procedures the doll had 'happily had', and it was still smiling. Bonding with the doll was encouraged and it would be there to compare operations when the child came round,

Ask, it's possible some hospitals have copied this idea.

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