St. John's Children's Hospital Services Pediatric Surgery Preparing Yourself for your Child's Surgery Preparing Yourself for Your Child's Surgery Hospitalization can be a stressful, anxious time for children and families. Here are some tips to make the day better for both you and your child. TIPS TO MAKE THE DAY GO SMOOTHLY Be informed. Write down questions you may have about the surgery itself and the postoperative care. Remember to take care of yourself. Be prepared for the surgery day so you can take care of your child. Attend the Surgical Discovery preoperative tour offered through HSHS St. John’s Children’s Hospital. Call 217-544-6464, ext. 44625 to learn more. Dress your child in loose, comfortable clothing. This will make the trip home more comfortable. Bringing an extra set of clothes is always a good idea. Allow your child to bring a pacifier, favorite blanket, toy or stuffed animal or all of the above. It brings comfort and security for the child. The surgery time could change, and recovery time is unpredictable, so please do not plan anything else for this day. Your child will require special attention on this day. If possible, make other arrangements for siblings and remember the sitter’s phone number. Bring a bucket or pan along with several towels for the journey home in case your child becomes sick. (Vomiting is due to anesthetic and is not uncommon after surgery.) Remember the calmer you are the easier it will be for your child to stay calm.