1. Be informed
Prior to your child’s appointment, discuss your concerns and questions with the doctor or contact us at the laboratpory.This can help you have peace of mind about the testing process.If you are nervous about the testing, it is more likely that your child will be nervous, as well.
2. Set realistic expectations
One of the best ways to set realistic expectations is to not pretend the experience will be painless. Instead of promising that a finger prick or blood draw won’t hurt, reassure your child that the process will be quick, the pain won’t last, and you’ll stay close. After the test, offer praise and comfort as he or she needs.
3. Schedule wisely
Schedule the test at a time when your child is less likely to be tired or hungry. If your child is coming in for a blood test, eating beforehand will help decrease any chance of lightheadedness. The only exception to eating prior to the appointment is if your child’s test requires fasting—in which case, it can help to schedule first thing in the morning, and bring a snack for afterward.
4. Communicate beforehand
You know your child best. Talking about feelings or practicing calming techniques before his or her appointment can help. Make a game of staying still. Teach your child to inhale for three seconds and then exhale. Breathing exercises help your child feel in control of his or her body and helps make it easier to draw.
5. Offer a distraction
During a blood draw, help get your child’s mind—and eyes—off the procedure. If watching would be too stressful for them, distract him or her from staring at the needle.