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Your Child's Visit Before and After Surgery
Your Childs Visit Before and After Surgery

Child Life Specialists prepare children for medical tests and procedures by using dolls, pictures, and words to help children understand their medical experiences. Child Life staff are also available to provide age-appropriate activities and to support patients and families throughout their hospital stay. 

Scheduling a Pre-Op Teaching Session

If your child is scheduled for surgery and you are interested in talking with a child life specialist about the procedure or scheduling a preoperative teaching session, please contact the Child Life Department at one of the following locations:

  • Children's Mercy Hospital - (816) 983-6870
  • Children's Mercy Hospital Kansas - (913) 696-8101

Before Surgery

  • A nurse will call with dates, times and instructions of what time your child can not eat or drink after. Acceptable clear liquids include, water, apple juice, Sprite, Pedialyte or Jello with nothing added. Chicken broth and/or bouillon are not clear liquids. This call will be made at least two business days prior to your child's scheduled surgery. During that time, feel free to ask any questions or express concerns you have regarding the upcoming surgery or procedure.
  • Below is an educational video for you to view about the importance of pre-op bathing.

Version en español

Items to Bring to the Hospital

  • History and physical, X-rays and test results
  • Legal papers documenting patient's guardianship
  • A stuffed animal that can be with your child during their surgery or procedure
  • A pacifier, if a pacifier soothes your young child
  • Books or magazines to read while you are waiting
  • A list of child's medications and information about how much medicine your child takes and how often
  • A list of your questions for the nurses, doctors, and anesthesiologists

The Day of Surgery

  • You will check in your child and fill out needed paperwork upon your arrival to the Same Day Surgery area.
  • A nurse will check your child's vitals, which includes height, weight, blood pressure, and temperature.
  • You and your child will meet with an anesthesiologist.
  • While your child is in surgery, you will wait in a parent waiting room.
  • When your child's surgery is complete, your child will wake up in the recovery room. You will see your child when he/she moves to the post-op area or as he/she is transported to an inpatient room.


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