Supporting Children Through Painful Procedures

November 17, 2021
Supporting Children Through Painful Procedures

A trip to the doctor’s office can be scary for children, especially when there are possibilities of vaccines and bloodwork. Over the next month, we will be sharing a series of tips on how to help make children feel more comfortable during a wide variety of procedures. Here are three to get started:

Take Deep Breaths
Encouraging children to take slow, deep breaths in and out can help relax their bodies and minds during procedures.

Use Visualization
Guided imagery, or visualizing images in the mind, can also help reduce stress associated with procedures. For instance, telling a child to imagine their favorite place and then describing the place by the various senses that the child may see, hear, or smell in that place.

Give Choices
Providing opportunities for appropriate choices can help children feel like they have some control in a situation where they may otherwise feel powerless. Simple, appropriate choices include whether the child watches the procedure or looks away, which arm the provider looks at first, or where the child sits during the procedure.

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