Undergoing a medical procedure can be very stressful for your child. There are many ways you can help them cope with stressful experiences:
Distraction – Take your child's mind off the pain through activities like I spy, blowing bubbles, reading or playing a game.
Relaxation – Use activities such as taking deep breaths, counting or relaxing the body to decrease tension.
Positioning – Change the position of your child or infant to ensure they are comfortable.
Imagination – Invite your child to take an imaginary trip to a favorite place and tell you what they would like to see and do there.
Environment (music, lights, etc.) – Turn down the lights, play quiet music, swaddle or cover your child in soft blankets to create a relaxing environment.
The following list highlights coping techniques for various ages of children.
For your infant
- Being swaddled in a blanket
- Sucking on a pacifier
- Being stroked gently
- Hearing soft singing or music
For your toddler or preschooler
- Sitting on your lap during procedure
- Blowing bubbles or pinwheels
- Looking at a ViewMaster
- Reading books that make noise or pop up
For your school-age child
- Holding your hand
- Taking deep breaths
- Distraction (books, toys, counting backwards, etc.)
- Imagery (going on an imaginary trip)
For your adolescent or young adult
- Finding a comfortable position
- Being a partner in decisions (having some control over their experience)
- Listening to music
- Doing breathing exercises
For more information