Preventing Infections When Your Child Has Surgery – Nemours Children’s Health

Preventing Infections When Your Child Has Surgery – Nemours Children’s Health

When your child has surgery, the care team takes every precaution to prevent infection. But we need your help, too.

Germs called bacteria can cause infections in the wound. While rare, these infections can make kids very sick.

So, it’s important to follow the care team’s instructions for getting ready for surgery and caring for your child when you go home.

The day before surgery, wash all bedding, pajamas, and bath towels your child will use that night.

Also wash the clothes your child will wear to the hospital the next day .
Have your child bathe or shower with a clean washcloth right before getting into bed.

Don’t try any new hair or body products that could irritate the skin. And never use lotions, deodorants, powders, or perfumes before surgery.

You also shouldn’t shave or remove any body hair, as this can cause cuts, redness, or bumps that make skin more likely to get infected.

Dry off with a clean towel.
If the care team gives you CHG cloths to clean the skin, bathe your child 2 hours before bedtime.

This allows time for the skin to dry before using the cloths.

Closely follow the instructions that came with the cloths.

Once your child is in clean pajamas, brush teeth before going to bed.

Don’t let any pets sleep in your child’s bed.

On the day of surgery, dress your child in clean clothes (including clean socks) or pajamas.

In the hospital, the care team will keep your child safe from germs .

Anyone caring for your child will wash their hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer before caring for your child – but don’t be afraid to remind them!

The care team will also:

• wear protective gear like masks, gowns, and gloves in the operating room,

• use a special soap to clean your child’s skin, and

• perform surgery in a clean, “sterile” area.

To prevent infection, your child may get antibiotics through an IV.
After the procedure, you’ll be able to see your child again in the recovery room.

The nurse will teach you how to care for your child’s wound.

When it’s time to leave the recovery room, some kids move to a hospital room to stay a little longer. Others go home.

At home, follow the instructions you’ve been given.

Before and after caring for your child, always clean your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.

The wound should be kept clean and dry; never touch it.

All visitors should clean their hands before entering your home.

Check the area around the wound every day for signs of infection, such as fever, pain, redness, or oozing.

Always call the care team with any concerns about the wound, especially before going to the ER or urgent care.

Many problems can be handled over the phone or with an online visit.

There’s a lot to remember when your child is recovering from surgery. But your care team is there to help.

Reach out with any questions and always follow their instructions for what to do before and after surgery.

This can help keep your child as healthy as possible on the road to recovery.

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