Step 4: Get Ready for Surgery Day
To protect your child against infection, bathe your child well before coming to the SurgiCenter. If surgical soap is recommended, follow instructions provided by your health care team. You may use lotion on your child’s face but not on their body.
On the day of surgery, dress your child in warm, loose, comfortable clothing. Think about clothing that will be easy to put on after surgery (e.g., a button-up shirt for arm surgery or loose-fitting pants for foot surgery). Also, be sure to remove nail polish, jewelry, piercings and metal hair accessories.
Be sure to tell us if your child wears a hearing aid, contact lenses or eyeglasses. If so, be sure to pack containers for these items and bring them with you to the SurgiCenter.
What to expect in the recovery room
Every child is different, but here are a few tips on seeing your child for the first time after surgery:
- About 13 percent of children wake up from anesthesia with emergence delirium — a state of consciousness wherein the child may be inconsolable, irritable, uncompromising or uncooperative. While this is stressful and alarming for parents, it’s a normal and well-documented reaction in children after surgery.
- If your child shows signs of emergence delirium, stay calm. The effects of anesthesia will wear off soon. In the meantime, try to help your child relax. Keep your voice calm and soothing. Dim the lights. Offer your child a favorite toy or blanket.
- If these steps don’t seem to help, talk to your nurse. There are medications that can help a child relax until the phase is over.