A child having surgery can be stressful for the entire family, whether it is planned or unexpected. We find families who know what to expect are often less anxious and better prepared for their hospital experience.
Alberta Children's Hospital: Your Child's Surgery
Information about what to expect and how to prepare for a child's surgery at Alberta Children’s Hospital are found on this page.
Other Helpful Websites
Note: These resources have general information and ideas for preparing for a surgery. As these resources are not from Alberta Children's Hospital some of the details, especially about the hospital space may be different.
Sick Kids: Talking to my children about surgery
Information is provided for parents for how to talk to their child at different ages about an upcoming surgery. There is also information about how to talk to siblings.
Kids Health: Preparing Your Child for Surgery
This article written for parents provides guidance for how to help prepare a child for an upcoming procedure.
Rady Children's Hospital Autism Discovery Institute: Hospital Visit Tips
Preparing your child for a hospital visit can reduce anxiety. This page has a tool kit and social stories to help you and your child prepare.
Standford Children's Hospital
An interactive hospital adventure show kids everything from what to pack to who they will see.
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt: People at Children's Hospital
Children and parents are introduced to various people they will meet at the hospital in this short video.
Children's Hospital of Orange County: After Surgery Guide
It is important to follow all of the instructions provided by the patient's healthcare team after a surgery Caring for a patient after surgery is important. This guide from Children's Hospital of Orange County can help parents prepare for what to expect after surgery. It should never replace the patient’s physician's at-home care instructions.
You can download, print, and share this list.
Franklin is a turtle who must have an operation to fix his shell. The book explains the hospital experience well and addresses the fear and questions many children have about the hospital. Recommended for ages 3-10.
This book was written by a pediatric anesthesiologist. She tells the story of a boy named Iggy who must have his tonsils out. The pictures are a great mix of cartoon images and real photos in the hospital. Recommended for ages 6-12.
It is time for Julianna to have her tonsils taken out. With the support of her friends, her family, books and toys, she knows exactly what to expect. Recommended for ages 3-10.
Harry is sick and needs to go to the hospital. He is scared of all the new people, needles, and staying the night in a strange place. This story of a hospital stay answers questions and helps children explore their feelings. Recommended for ages 4-12.
This sensitive book shows the viewpoint of an older sibling when her younger sister needs to go the hospital for an operation. Recommended for ages 3-12.
George has eaten a puzzle piece and needs to go the hospital to have the piece removed. Children will learn about hospitals in this fun book. Recommended for ages 3-8.
This book written for parents offers advice from parents on how to cope with a child’s hospitalization. With easy to read tips on preparing your child and handling procedures without trauma.
This material is designed for information purposes only. It should not be used in place of medical advice, instruction and/or treatment. If you have specific questions, please contact your doctor or appropriate health care professional.