Helping parents prepare for your child’s surgery

Pre-register for your child’s surgery online.

Things your child might want to pack if he or she will be going home the same day or the next day:

  • Camera
  • Toys or activities
  • Music, books, magazines
  • Comfortable loose clothes to wear home, (sweat pants, stretchy pajama pants, loose t-shirts)
  • Something they like–a stuffed animal, pillowcase, pictures of family or friends. They are never too old for a comfort item.

Things your child might want to pack if he or she will be staying for a while:

  • Bathrobe, slippers, pajamas, or other sleeping clothes
  • Comfortable regular clothes
  • Phone numbers, mailing address of friends and relatives
  • Something they like a stuffed animal, pillowcase, pictures of family or friends. You’re never too old for a comfort item.
  • Music, books, magazines, a camera, or videos.
  • Personal toiletry items like deodorant, comb, or toothbrush
  • School work
  • Toys or activities

We have toiletry items, linens, sleeping clothes, and the like, but having their own can make them feel more comfortable. They don’t need to bring anything. It’s up to them.

Important things to do before your child gets here:

  • Schedule a pre-operative physical exam by calling your child’s pediatrician.
  • Follow the instructions about eating and drinking before surgery called the NPO Guidelines. This is one of the most important things to do!
  • Make a list of the questions they have so they can ask the doctor about them when they arrive.
  • Check with your child’s doctor about whether or not they should take any medications they usually take.
  • Label clothes and personal belongings. Just like at school, we can’t guarantee things won’t get misplaced.
  • Have your child take a bath or shower and shampoo their hair.
  • Make sure all piercings, jewelry and hair fasteners with metal in them are removed. These types of metal are not allowed in the operating room.
  • Ensure hair is not braided.

Your child might also want to:

  • Talk to their school or boss about being gone
  • Tell their brothers, sisters, and friends
  • Go to the grocery store and pharmacy to buy things their doctor recommends for after surgery. They will want them once they get home.


To make the check-in process as easy as possible, we encourage patients who have an appointment for Surgery, Radiology (X-Ray) or Special Diagnostics to pre-register online.


At Children’s Minnesota, we know how important reliable information about conditions and illnesses is.