Operation Day

  • If your child has to have an operation, it is bound to be a worrying time for you all, but it helps to know what is going to happen. For several hours before the operation they will not be allowed to eat or drink. This is important as anything given during this time could cause vomiting, during or after the operation.

    They will need to have a wash or bath and will then be asked to put on a clean gown. A local anaesthetic cream may be applied to the area where an intravenous drip will be sited, to give medication in theatre. Also, medicine may be given to make them sleepy, after which they should be encouraged to rest. If you would like to be with your child in the anaesthetic room please ask your nurse to let the anaesthetist know. If you do not, the nurse who takes your child to theatre will stay with them until they are asleep.

    In order to provide the necessary care it is usual for children to be nursed in the Intensive Care Unit (Ward 47), after their operation. You will be given further information about this nearer the time.

  • Helping your child when having treatment or procedures

    Distraction is one of the techniques used to help you and your child cope with pain and anxiety. Distraction is not a way of solely diverting the child’s attention away from the procedure, it is about fully engaging the child in an activity so they are less aware of the procedure, therefore less aware of any possible pain and, in turn, less anxious.
    Distraction provides fun control and understanding of children’s emotions and feelings. It allows children to understand their treatment with a clear explanation.

    Here are some reasons as to why distraction techniques are widely used and often very successful:

    • it may help you/your child understand pain
    • it may help take your child’s mind off the thought of pain
    • it helps you/your child to be absorbed in a particular activity
    • it helps you/your child relax
    • it gives an opportunity for choice, control and positive involvement
  • Through research it appears a child will not cope with pain effectively alone. Therefore distraction therapy must be interactive with an adult. It is not sufficient to leave a child with a book, toy or just music to listen to. If possible allow your child to choose a coping technique, with the help of an adult who will be able to give you ideas to age appropriate toys, games or activities.
    We aim to offer many different distraction techniques to help you/your child cope with the treatment or procedure they are having. As much as possible we like you/your child to choose the coping strategy.

  • Will my child be in pain

    Your child may suffer mild discomfort whilst moving around for a few days. Paracetamol (eg Calpol or tablets) can be given for this. Make sure you have some at home as this is not usually provided by the hospital.

    For the first few nights at home, you may find it helpful to give your child a dose of paracetamol before putting them to bed – follow the instructions on the pack so that you are certain that you do not give them too much. This should ease any discomfort that may cause difficulty in sleeping and your child’s regular night time routine should be re-established fairly quickly.

    If you need information, advice or support regarding your child’s condition or surrounding lifestyle issues please contact the specialist nurses (Please leave a message on the answer machine if not available).

  • Simple distraction and coping techniques

    Games and exercises which encourage controlled breathing
    Blowing bubbles, balloons, and party blowers, blowing feathers or an imaginary balloon.
    Pop up books, “Where’s Wally” books, puzzle books, hospital books
    Games and Puzzles
    Hand held American football or tank game (battery operated), small puzzles, I spy games, iPad/ iPod
    Relaxation tapes, singing, musical toys and instruments
    Sensory Experiences
    Koosh balls, pom poms, stress ball, light wand, kaleidoscope, cuddly toys Messy substances –  cornflower, playdough, slime jelly
    Mental Aptitude
    Logical thinking games, mental maths games (counting, multiplication), jokes, positive interaction/conversation
    Imaginary and Make Believe Play
    Puppets, favourite soft toy, therapeutic dolls, imaginary journeys

    Please do not hesitate to ask the Play Specialists, if you would like any more information or if you feel your child may need some distraction during any treatments or procedures.