It can be terrifying for a child to have her blood drawn, especially if you haven’t explained what the procedure will be like. As a parent, you can help alleviate the fear of bloodwork by explaining what the child will experience and even showing her how the procedure will be done. With a bit of patience, you can prepare your child for a normal procedure that doesn’t scare her. The following are just a few tips on how to prepare your child for blood draws.
Explain What Phlebotomy Is
Children love to learn things and this is a time when teaching them as much as possible will help make the experience less frightening. Explain to the child that the bloodwork is needed to make sure that she is healthy and be upfront about how the needle will feel going into the skin. This can help her prepare to be a big girl. When a child doesn’t know what to expect, she is more apt to scream when the needle gets brought out.
Tell the Child Why It’s Necessary
Children need to understand that sometimes a doctor can’t tell if they’re healthy simply be looking at them. A doctor needs to test the blood to see if there are any bad germs in the blood that could make them sick. Using comical references will help your child be less afraid. You can even show the child what the blood looks like up close through pictures you find online.
Inform the Child That a Specialist Will Be in Charge
It can be reassuring to your child to explain that a professional phlebotomist will be in charge of drawing the blood. Tell her that the phlebotomist has experience and this is what he does for a living. He’s the captain in charge of the blood and will make sure it is drawn safely from the body and tested by a team of professionals.
Watch Videos Together About Bloodwork
It always helps to find cartoons or stories that feature your child’s favorite characters when explaining something scary. Do an online search for cartoons about bloodwork. When you make the experience fun, your child is less likely to be scared.
Show Her How It’ll Be Done
If you want to be truly thorough, show her hold the procedure will be done. Have her hold out her arm on a flat surface and tie a ribbon around her arm. Use a pen or pencil as a pretend needle and hold it up to the skin. Wait a couple minutes and untie the ribbon. She’s all done. Give her a sticker and send her on her way.
Bloodwork is a terrifying concept for a young child. However, you can make the experience less frightening by spending a bit of time preparing your child for the process.
About the Author: Elton Cacioppo works in a children’s hospital and works closely with patients and parents to ensure children feel safe and secure when it comes to bloodwork. Visit this site here to learn more about phlebotomy and potential career opportunities.