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Each child recovers from surgery at a different pace. Your child's discharge plan will outline the care your child needs. And it will tell you about the things you'll need to do at home.
Make sure you get the plan in writing. It should include:
Your doctor will talk with you about restarting any of your child's medicines and starting any new medicines.
If the doctor gave your child a prescription medicine for pain, give it as prescribed. If your child is not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if your child can take an over-the-counter medicine.
If your child has a cut (incision) from surgery, follow your doctor's instructions to care for it. If you did not get instructions, follow this general advice:
How soon your child can return to normal activities depends on the type of surgery your child had. The doctor will give you instructions on when your child can do sports or exercise. The doctor will also tell you when your child can go back to school or daycare.
If the doctor says it's okay, help your child get up and move around several times a day. But sometimes children feel better quickly and are too active before it's safe. It's better if your child takes it easy until the doctor says it's okay to move more.
Follow the doctor's instructions about what your child can eat or drink. The doctor may suggest that you give clear liquids for the first several hours until any nausea has gone away.
Then you can give small amounts of your child's usual foods. You can also try foods that are low in fat and fibre. These include applesauce, baked chicken, crackers, and yogurt. When you're sure that your child is doing well with those foods, then your child can eat and drink his or her normal diet.
For a baby, the doctor will tell you if you need to change anything about your breastfeeding or bottle-feeding.
If your child has signs of infection, call your doctor. These signs include:
Also call the doctor if your child has pain that doesn't get better after your child takes pain medicine. A baby or child in pain may show certain signs. A child with severe pain will have more of these behaviours and may be harder to comfort. Look for:
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
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Current as of: October 6, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Heather Quinn MD - Family Medicine & John Pope MD - Pediatrics & Thomas M. Bailey MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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