Preparing your child for surgery
Deaf children may require surgery for lots of reasons including:
- having grommets to help treat Glue ear
- having a bone conduction hearing implant, cochlear implant, or another implantable device fitted
- having reconstructive surgery (such as with microtia)
- to remove disease from the ear (such as cholesteatoma)
- or for another reason not related to their ears or deafness.
Planned surgery can cause anxiety for many children. Good preparation before surgery can help your child feel less worried about the procedure and help them to recover more quickly.
Many hospitals have specialist play professionals or liaison nurses who will help prepare your child. This may involve using medically-themed toys, age-appropriate information, and a visit to the ward to help them familiarise themselves with what will happen.
Talk to other families for their experiences and top tips
Visit our forum, Parent Place or post your questions to other parents on Facebook.
Read Lucie’s post Surgery advice from one parent to another when her son had his cochlear implant surgery, on her blog Lucie and The Bump.
Please note: we promote blogs we think might be of interest to our members but the opinions expressed in them are not necessarily our own.
Visit the following websites for some top tips.
These books are also useful for explaining surgery to your child.
- Franklin goes to the Hospital, Paulette Bourgeois and Brenda Clark, Kids Can Press
“Franklin's shell has cracked, and he needs to be a brave turtle when it's time to go to the hospital.”
- Going to the Hospital, Anne Civardi, Michelle Bates and Stephen Cartwright, Usbourne Publishing Ltd.
“Part of a series introducing young children to unfamiliar situations in a friendly way.”
- Peppa Pig: Peppa goes to hospital, Ladybird Books Ltd.
“A lovely story that shows children that hospitals aren’t scary places.”
- Maisy goes to hospital, Lucy Cousins, Walker Books.
“Join Maisy, every toddler’s best friend, for her first experience of going to hospital.”
Widgit-Health and Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust have produced free booklet and flashcards using visuals and symbols to help you explain to your child what will happen at the hospital.
Download them for free from Wigit-Health.