First off, I want to say that we don't do a ton of kids, mostly T&A's, etc.
We've been pretty good in getting IV's in kids age 8/9 and up in our holding area. Then a little Versed/Fentanyl. In the pre op area, littler kids and ones that are very anxious often get a little PO Versed.
We have never had parents in the OR, not sure that we will ever, not sure I want them there. I've nothing really to stand that statement on,,,,it's just my feelings.
Our standing rule is that you're not to be in the room when a parent, child or other close relative is having surgery. You might pop in prior to induction, a little perk for working in the OR I guess, then leave.
I would think for anyone that does allow parents in, you would have rock solid guidelines. I think I remember hearing one place that had a short checklist. If the parent didn't meet the criteria, no go.
One of our anesthesiologists told a story, where he used to work, I think, about a parent that, as the child started to go under, (in that wet wash rag stage) freaked out, grabbed the child, and ran off with them down the hall.
Probably another Urban Legend, but does tend to make one pause and think.