Nobody really likes having their blood drawn, and for some children it can be a scary experience. When a child is undergoing pediatric cancer treatment, blood tests are frequent. Here are five tips you can use to keep your kid calm and positive when their blood is drawn.
1. Use a Kid-Friendly Lab
Using a lab that’s kid-friendly is an important part in taking a painless and stress-free blood sample. Your pediatric cancer treatment center’s lab not only offers a setting designed to calm young children, the phlebotomists there will have more experience working with the smaller veins of children.
2. Stay Calm
Your children take most of their cues from you, and will mimic and internalize your mood and behavior. If you look or act nervous, stressed out or anxious about your child’s blood sampling, even very young children will mirror those qualities they see in you.
3. Bring a Friend
Ask your child if there is a person they would like to bring along. The presence of grandparents, cousins or even a favorite stuffed animal can help children relax during the blood sampling.
3. Distract Your Child’s Attention
Friends can also help by keeping your child distracted during the procedure. Use playful talk or images in a book or on a screen to keep your child’s eyes off the procedure while it’s happening.
4. Talk It Over
Some children are not particularly frightened by having their blood drawn. Talking honestly and openly with your child about the procedure can help them draw strength to be brave while it’s happening.
5. Keep Your Child Hydrated
Make sure your child drinks plenty of water in the hours before their blood sampling to help it go more smoothly.