Preparing children for a surgery or procedure

Preparation and support during a procedure are important. Child life specialists provide information about an upcoming surgery or procedure based on a child's age or developmental level. Pictures, books and realistic medical equipment are used to help explain to a child what he or she will experience before, during and after the procedure.

Pre-admission tours

Going on a tour is an easy way to prepare kids for having surgery or staying in the hospital. Children who go on a tour are less likely to feel anxious. Research shows children who are prepared are better able to understand their experiences.

Our Child Life specialists prepare children for surgery using pictures and medical equipment. During the tour, children get a package with activity sheets, an anesthesia mask and surgical hat.

  • Tours are offered for children of all ages. Family members are welcome and encouraged to attend.
  • Parents with infants are invited to attend a tour and receive information specific to their child’s experience.
  • A hospital video and hands-on play with medical equipment is offered to help the pre-school/school-aged child learn about his/her upcoming surgery.
  • Tours for the teen-aged patient provide a walking tour and question-and-answer session to help the teen learn about surgery.

Sign up for a tour

To sign up for a tour or for more information, complete this form or call (414) 266-3495. Registration is required.

Video tour

While we encourage families to come to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin before a planned hospitalization or surgery, we understand not everyone can make it here. We invite you to watch the following video.