It is possible to calm children without using drugs prior to surgery, according to a study by researchers at the University of Adelaide and Women's and Children's Hospital.
The study said that computer games and funny doctors could calm kids before they were due to be given general anesthesia. Relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation could also help because parental stress is often passed onto kids.
The study assessed 1800 children across the world and found that video games, clown doctors and computer games helped calm kids, but music therapy did not help.
"Undergoing a general anesthetic can be a frightening experience for a young child and distressing to parents," said Lead researcher Dr Allan Cyna. "Children can be given a `pre-med' to sedate them when anesthesia is being administered, but these drugs can have unwanted harmful effects. Some non-drug alternatives have been tested to see if they could be used instead."
The study also said that parents must relax ahead of their kids' surgery.