Treatments and procedures

For information about a range of treatments, procedures and operations such as having tonsils and adenoids removed, grommets inserted, and anaesthetic. If your child is having a procedure, you might also find the section Coping with treatment and hospital useful. 

A young child in a hospital bed having treatment

When your child has a general anaesthetic, they are given medicine to make them unaware and unconscious. You have an important role in preparing your child for their anaesthetic so that their experience is as positive and non-frightening as possible.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for children with cerebral palsy is unproven and has potential hazards - we do not recommend it.

Stem cell treatment for children with cerebral palsy has potential hazards - we do not recommend it unless the treatment is part of a clinical trial approved by an ethics committee and by clinical trial regulators.

Circumcision is the operation to remove the foreskin. Circumcision is not risk free - parents and caregivers should be informed of potential risks as well as potential benefits when considering circumcision.

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is a treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea.

A drip is a short, small plastic tube that is put into your child's vein using a needle. The plastic tube is then left in so that fluids and medicines can be given directly into the blood via the vein.

An epidural is a very effective method of pain control used both during and after major surgery to the chest, tummy and legs.

Grommets may be recommended if your child has glue ear that won't clear up, or frequent ear infections.

PCA stands for patient controlled analgesia. A PCA pump is a device that allows your child to give themselves a pre-set amount of pain medicine (usually morphine), as needed, by pressing a hand-held button.

Plasters (also called casts or plaster casts) and splints allow the broken bone time to rest and heal.

Plasters (also called casts or plaster casts) and splints allow the fracture time to rest and heal.

If you think your child has been poisoned, call the New Zealand National Poisons Centre immediately on 0800 POISON (0800 764 766). Do not try to make your child vomit or give food or liquid until you have been given advice.

A tonsillectomy is an operation to remove the tonsils. An adenotonsillectomy is an operation to remove both the adenoids and tonsils.

Tube feeding generally involves delivering a liquid feed through the nose (nasal tube) or stomach (gastrostomy tube). Tube feeding helps your child to meet their nutritional needs when they are not able to eat or drink enough by mouth.