Preparing Your Child

It is understandable that your child may have fears and concerns about the hospital stay and transplant. We will work with you and your child in discussing these concerns and helping you cope throughout the whole process. Preparing your child in advance can help to ease stress and anxiety.

*Tips on talking to your child:

  • Be honest and use age appropriate language when talking to your child.
  • Tell your child what their incision (opening for surgery) or scar will look like.
  • Draw a picture of an incision on a doll or on their chest.
  • Tell your child he or she may have some pain but that they can ask for medicine to make it feel better. A child often is anxious about surgery because of their fear of the pain
  • Tell your child the doctors and nurses are on his/her side and helping to make him/her feel better.
  • Check that your child understands what will happen by asking him/her to explain in his/her own words what he/she thinks will happen or what could happen.

If your child and your family need additional support, our transplant team will help provide these resources. Please do not hesitate to ask us.

*From Pediatric Heart Transplants: A Guide for Patients and Families, Pediatric Heart Transplant Study Foundation, Children’s Cardiomyopathy Foundation