Posted on February 21, 2019
Before the Procedure
Talk to their Doctor: Some doctors offer topical anesthetics to help younger patients deal with the pain of needles. see it they offer toy needles or cartoon pamphlets to explain the procedure. If there have been problems in the past with medical tests, make sure you make the doctor or nurse aware.
Scheduling: It’s a good idea to schedule the blood draw or injection when your child has eaten and is well hydrated (unless the test specifies otherwise). This will help prevent fainting, and the veins will be more prominent the more hydrated they are.
Communicate with your child: Explain what the procedure is, why it is being done, and encourage them to ask any questions they may have. Communicating what they should expect could ease their mind if they are experiencing any nerves.
Give them some control: Children will often feel better when they have some control in a situation. Achieve this by letting them pick an activity they can do during the procedure.
Set realistic expectations: Let your child know it’s okay to be scared or nervous, and that a blood draw procedure is quick. Don’t say it will be painless, rather suggest if you experience a little pain or discomfort it won’t last very long. Stress that the most important thing for them to do is to stay still and listen to the doctor.
During the Procedure
Distraction: Let your child play a game on a phone or tablet, or let them listen to music to get their mind off the actual procedure.
Affection & Comfort: Hold their hand, let them sit on your lap, or let them hold their favorite toy when the blood draw or injection is being done.
After the Procedure
Praise and Rewards: Giving a child a reward or praise after a procedure is important. If they feel good after it could make it easier to have future medical tests done. Stickers, a designer adhesive bandage, or a special treat is a great way to show your child they did a great job getting through the test.