The nurse is discharging a 5-year-old that underwent a tonsillectomy. What important instruction should the nurse give to the child's parents to prevent further complications?


•Parents need careful instruction concerning the danger signs of hemorrhage (frequent swallowing, clearing the throat, increasing restlessness).

•The most dangerous period for the child after a tonsillectomy are the first 24 hours, when the clots covering the denuded surgical area are forming, and days 5 to 7, when the clots begin to lyse or dissolve. If new granulation tissue is not yet present when the clots dissolve, hemorrhage from the denuded surface can occur.

•Strenuous activity and heavy lifting should be avoided for 10 days, but non-strenuous activity is acceptable.

•Liquid analgesics are better tolerated than pills or tablets because they are easier to swallow.

•The child should eat an adequate diet, but there is no evidence that suggests a special diet is required.

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