INTRODUCTION: Parents feel fear and anxiety before surgery is performed on their child, and those feelings could obstruct their preparation for the surgery. Preoperative information could relieve those feelings. OBJECTIVE: To determine the preoperative information needs of parents of children undergoing elective surgery. PATIENTS AND METHOD: A study was conducted on the parents of children who underwent elective surgery. Demographic data of parents were recorded. Preoperative information received or would like to have received was assessed in terms of contents, methods, opportunity, place and informant. Descriptive statistics were used. RESULTS: Thirteen hundred parents were surveyed. More than 80% of them want preoperative information about anaesthesia, surgery, preoperative fasting, drugs and anaesthetic complications, monitoring, intravenous line management, pain treatment, postoperative feeding, anxiety control, hospitalisation room, recovery room, and entertainment in recovery room. Most want to be informed verbally, one to two weeks in advance and not on the same day of surgery. The informant should be the surgeon and in his office. In addition, they want information through leaflets, videos and simulation workshops, or guided tours. CONCLUSIONS: Parents need complete preoperative information about anesthesia, surgery and postoperative care, received verbally and in advance.