Preparation

Toddlers & Children

3-8 years

Preparing Toddlers & Children

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We can perform circumcision at any age at our clinic. However, it is important to note that circumcision in this age group can be quite challenging. Toddlers and children below the age of 5 to 6 can struggle to understand what is being carried out and why. It is extremely important that parents make every effort to explain the procedure to their child beforehand and are prepared to play an active role in trying to settle their children and provide adequate distraction during the procedure to ensure that the whole experience is as mentally and physically comfortable as possible.

This depends on the age and size of the penis. Where size permits, the gold standard is to perform a Plastibell or Circumplast procedure. In some instances, however, we do perform the suture method for young children, especially where a well-developed penis is present and the Plastibell/Circumplast rings do not fit.

In the majority of cases, we will insist that parents are present during the procedure – this gives a great deal of confidence and comfort to the child undergoing the procedure. Seeing a familiar face or hearing a familiar voice is reassuring to your child. In the absence of any family members in the operating room, we will be reluctant to carry out the circumcision.

If your child is old enough to understand, it is important to explain what circumcision is and how it is going to be carried out. It is vitally important to be honest with your child, otherwise, they can lose trust in you and in the medical profession. With regards to your explanation of the procedure, it is important to be precise but not too explicit. The explanation should be as short as possible. It is wise to clearly explain to your child that only the skin at the tip of his penis will be removed otherwise he is likely to fear that his entire penis is to be removed. Gaining and maintaining his trust is paramount in order to allay his fears and also to ensure the experience is not distressing for all parties concerned. It is well documented that excessive levels of anxiety before the procedure can lead to greater distress after the procedure.

Emotional preparation for parents is extremely important as this can have an influence on the child’s experience of the procedure. First and foremost, it is extremely important that both parents are happy to go ahead with their son’s circumcision and that they are happy with the timing. Any disagreement regarding going ahead with the procedure will be a flashpoint before, during and after the procedure and can potentially have a negative impact on the whole experience. This is especially important in mixed-race families where the practice of circumcision is alien to one of the parents. Ensure that you have discussed the procedure amongst yourselves and you are both fully committed to going ahead with it. At Circumcision Pro, we are very keen to ensure that both parents are comfortable with the consent process. If we feel that either parent is uncomfortable then we will not proceed with the circumcision.

Seeing your son going through a procedure can be a stressful experience and parents deal with this in different ways. The most important thing to remember is that the stress of parents can spread to their children. Even the youngest of infants look to their mothers to determine how to react to a situation. The best way to help your son through this process is to remain calm yourselves. From our experience of over 6000 circumcisions, we have noticed that agitated parents go hand in hand with crying babies. Numerous studies have demonstrated a link between maternal anxiety and excessive infant crying. The best way to ease the process for your son is to try and be as relaxed as possible.

We use a local anaesthetic to eradicate pain. Prior to the injection, we may use a numbing cream depending on the circumstances. The injection can cause pain and stinging which a lot of children may find uncomfortable. The rest of the procedure will be pain-free. Your child may feel touch, changes in temperature, and pressure but no sharp pain associated with cutting.

During the procedure, it is essential that parents use different forms of distraction to keep their son’s focus away from the operative site. We actively encourage the use of phones and tablets to distract the child. At Circumcision Pro we have made every effort to ensure the operating room is as child-friendly as possible and, where necessary, we will provide suitable distraction tools.

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