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Child Life Services 

Preparing for a Hospital Stay: Toddler (12 months to 3 years) 

Fears: separation, abandonment and immobility.

  • Prepare your toddler for the hospitalization/surgery 1-2 days before the event, if possible.
  • Allow your child to bring his favorite stuffed animal, blanket or security item.
  • Involve yourself as much as possible in the care of your child and reassure your child 
    that you will be with him as much as possible.
  • Allow for independence and autonomy when possible. Give your child choices -  
    "Do you want to hold still by yourself or do you want help?"
  • Keep a positive attitude.
  • Give simple explanations ("You need to have surgery so the doctor can fix your leg.")
  • Reinforce positive behaviors.
  • Explain procedures/surgery in relation to your child's senses.
  • Play with doctor kits prior to admission to explore your child's feelings.
  • Read books (Book Resources for Parents) about Cardinal Glennon prior to admission.

For more helpful information, click on the following links:

    Distractions

    What Happens When You Go For Your Test

    Play

 

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