BACKGROUND. Pediatric pulse dye laser surgery is a low-risk, minimally painful procedure that provides unique challenges to the laser operator. In some centers, all of these procedures are performed under sedation or general anesthesia, which poses a greater risk than the procedure itself. Topical anesthesia has proven to ease the pain associated with these procedures, but anxiety resulting from protective eye wear still poses a major problem in young children. OBJECTIVE. To ease the anxiety of children undergoing brief laser procedures below the head and neck without sedation or general anesthesia by allowing interaction between parents and the patient during the procedure. METHODS. A standard hospital-issue 142 thread, 75% cotton/ 25% polyester sheet is doubled and clamped above the head of the treatment table. Forming a tent, it is draped over the patient's head and neck area while also covering the parent who is positioned beside the child. All patients also use topical anesthesia 1 to 2 hours before the procedure. RESULTS. The parent-child tent has been used in selected pediatric laser surgery patients at our institution over the past 7 years with great success and without any complications. CONCLUSIONS. For brief laser procedures below the head and neck areas, the parent-child tent, which can be made from readily available materials, reduces the stress to both patient and parent and may obviate the need for further sedation or anesthesia.
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