As a children's anaesthetist and parent of two small children (both of whom have needed operations), I am very aware of how anxious parents can feel when their children are facing anaesthesia and surgery.
Many children may also become very anxious themselves and this can often make their hospital visit much more difficult to manage than if they are calm and accepting of the care they need. So what can we do to help make a child's experience in hospital as easy and relaxed as possible?
Children very easily pick up on their parents' feelings, so one of the most important things you can do to help your child is to remain calm and relaxed yourself. This may be easier said than done - especially if you are unsure about exactly what might happen at the hospital - but finding out as much as you can beforehand often helps.
Many hospitals send out information in advance to help you plan ahead, and many have websites which provide additional details. Information about the anaesthetic may include discussing your options and advice about pain relief after the operation. If your hospital does not send out this information routinely, see the links to the Royal College of Anaesthetists' patient information website to the right of this page.