Thursday, September 28, 2023
Home How To Help Your Child Recover From Surgery

How To Help Your Child Recover From Surgery

Whether they’re getting their tonsils out or having more serious surgery, you want your little one to be as comfortable as possible while recovering.  The type of care that your child will need after surgery depends on their age and the type of surgery they had.

Consider an Inpatient Recovery Option

If your child is having serious surgery, such as work on the brain or spinal cord, then it is a good idea to consider an inpatient pediatric rehabilitation program. These programs include doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals who provide recovery therapy in a number of ways. Some options include physical therapy, speech therapy, cognitive therapy, and music therapy. Children in these programs usually spend 3-5 hours per day in therapy but also have plenty of time to play and spend time with their families.

Start Care Directly After Surgery

Caring for your child begins directly after their surgery. If your baby had surgery, rock them while using a pacifier for comfort. Young children may be able to sit in your lap if their doctor says it’s safe to do so. Older children and teenagers can benefit from conversations and holding hands.

Find Ways To Distract Your Child

If your child is laying in bed and doing nothing, they’re more likely to notice the pain they’re in because of the surgery. While your child is still in the hospital, bring comfort items that can help with coping. Younger children often prefer stuffed animals or blankets from home while older children may like their handheld video game systems (check with the doctor first) or music.

You can spend time distracting your child, too. Consider bringing books to read, coloring books, and board games that you can play with your child on their bed. If your child is allowed out of bed, they may also be able to play in a playroom at the hospital.

Look For Signs of Discomfort

Pay close attention to how your child is acting. If you suspect they’re feeling pain but not expressing it, it’s a good idea to talk to the nurse. Spend some time asking the doctor and nurse questions about the surgery and the best way to care for your child while they recover. Some signs to look for include nausea or vomiting, a sore throat, trouble sleeping, feeling dizzy, or gastrointestinal problems. If you notice any of these, talk to the doctor or nurse to determine what can be done to help. Remember, sometimes a child has to wait a while after surgery before eating or drinking, so never give them something until the doctor says it’s ok.

Let Your Child Rest But Make Sure They Move Too

Surgery recovery is a little bit complicated. Your child is going to need plenty of extra rest, especially if it was major surgery. It is important to make sure that you let your child sleep more than usual and to avoid waking them up. However, when they are awake, it’s important to get them moving some. Moving after surgery has proven to speed up the recovery process. Don’t let your child lift anything heavy, run, or jump. Do take short walks together to get a bit of movement in.

Attend Follow-Up Appointments

Chances are your child’s pediatrician will want to have at least one follow-up appointment with them after the surgery. It is important to follow the doctor’s instructions, including attending the follow-up appointments to ensure that your child is healing well and the surgery was a success. If you have any questions of concerns between the appointments, be sure to contact the doctor.

It is never easy to see your child is in pain, but chances are the surgery was the best thing for your child. By being empathetic to their feelings, providing distractions, and ensuring your child sees their pediatriction as needed, you can be sure you’re helping them through the healing process more easily.

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