Here are some expert-approved tips for parents to help prepare their children before undergoing blood tests, so you can make their experience as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Blood tests are scary, especially when a patient is a child (Newborn to 12 years old). As a parent, it can be hard to watch your child undergo a medical procedure, especially one as invasive as a blood test. But with the right preparation and support, you can help your child feel more comfortable and confident about the experience. By taking the time to explain what to expect, answer their questions, and provide emotional support, you can make the blood test process much less stressful for both you and your child. Some helpful strategies such as deep breathing, distracting the child with their favourite toy or stuffed animal, singing, or counting in a calm tone can be helpful but not completely effective.
Dr. Nilesh Shah, President and Chief of Science and Innovation, Metropolis Healthcare Ltd, shared with HT Lifestyle, some tips for parents which can be done during children’s blood collection.
1. Distract your child: During the process, talk and play with your child. To distract or entertain your child, use age-appropriate language.
2. Stay calm and positive: Children can sense their parent’s emotions, so it’s critical to remain calm and positive throughout the procedure. As a reward for being brave, you can offer words of encouragement or a small treat afterwards.
3. Prepare ahead of time: Before the procedure, make sure your child is well-rested and has eaten a nutritious meal. Dress them in clothes that allow easy access to the arm, from where the blood will be drawn.
4. Be present during the procedure: It can be comforting for children to see a familiar face during the procedure, so consider staying with your child or having a trusted caretaker or family member stay with them if you are unable to do so. You can also bring in your child’s favourite toy or belongings to engage them.
5. Follow-up afterwards: After the procedure, ensure that your child receives all necessary follow-up care and that you keep an eye out for any adverse reactions or side effects
Parents should trust the company whom they have approached for their child’s blood collection, and the company should do the best blood collection possible for the child.