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What will worry my adolescent about a hospital stay?

Starting around age ten, kids will have a lot of questions and fears about any medical treatment. And they’ll have misconceptions from a hodgepodge of sources. They may have seen plenty of gross things on the Discovery Health Channel. Or autopsy animations on CSI. Or been hooked on Scrubs. Given this, you’ll be walking a fine line between being honest and open and sharing too much information. At the same time, it’s difficult to hide scary stuff from preteens and teens; they can jump on the Internet at school or at home and find a colossal amount of info about anything—not all of it helpful or correct.

What’s going on inside your child’s head? Preteens and teens fear pain, disfigurement, and losing control (all worthy of fear, I’d say). The fear of being labeled a “freak” by their peers can be the fourth big dramatic deal and shoot to the top of the list at any given moment. Being in a hospital for any reason can signal to kids that they are “sick” and different at a time when they desperately want to fit in.

From The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents by Jennifer Trachtenberg.

The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents

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The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents

What to Do When You Don't Know What to Do! "Moms and dads need expert guidelines, especially when it comes to their kids' health. This book reveals the inside strategies I use myself-I'm a parent,...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.