Background: Parents accompanying their child during induction of anesthesia experience stress. The impact of audiovisual aid (AVA) on parental state anxiety and assessment of the childs anxiety at induction have been studied previously but need closer scrutiny. Methods: One hundred and twenty parents whose children were scheduled for day-care surgery entered this randomized, controlled study. The intervention group (n = 60) was exposed to an AVA in the holding area. Parental anxiety was measured with the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and the Amsterdam Preoperative Anxiety and Information Scale (APAIS) at three time points: (i) on admission [T1]; (ii) in the holding area just before entering the operating theater [T2]; and (iii) after leavin Results: On the state anxiety subscale, APAIS parental anxiety at T2 (P = 0.015) and T3 (P = 0.009) was lower in the AVA intervention group than in the control group. After induction, the child's anxiety rating by the anesthetist was significantly lower than by the parent, in both intervention and control groups. Conclusions: Preoperative AVA shown to parents immediately before induction moderates the increase in anxiety associated with the anesthetic induction of their child. Present results suggest that behavioral characteristics seem better predictors of child's anxiety during induction than anxiety ratings per se and that anesthetists are better than parents in predicting child's anxiety during induction.