Having a blood test can be a difficult time for anyone, especially if you have a fear of needles or blood. Trying to get your child ready for a blood test can be hard, but there are trained professionals who will be there to guide you as a parent and calm your child down. Here are a few things you can do to help get your child ready for their blood test and how to keep them calm during the procedure.
Explain Why They Need One
Depending on your child’s age, this may not always be possible, and for children as young as 1, it may be best to just do it. The thing to remember as a parent is it is for the best and they will not remember it. There are numbing sprays and creams out there to make this as painless as possible for your child, as they are more likely to not like being held whilst the blood test happens. If your child is of an age where they can understand, explain to them in a way you know they will understand. If they are older, they may understand exactly why they need it, but they may still be worried.
Calming Their Fears
Mostly, children have a fear of the unknown, and if they do not know what a blood test entails then they may imagine a huge needle that is going to hurt them a lot. If you can explain to them the procedure beforehand and answer any questions from when you had a blood test yourself, then this could help to control their anxiety. The best thing is to not lie about a blood test, so tell them that they are going to feel a sharp scratch as the needle goes in, but once this is done the blood test is relatively painless. If they are worried when coming in for their test, the phlebotomist can explain the procedure and help calm their anxieties. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, check out Phlebotomy Training USA.
Distraction and Rewards
When your child is having their blood test, it may be best for you to bring their favorite toy or have their favorite TV show on your phone to distract them. Often healthcare professionals get children to sit on their mom’s lap, facing them whilst their hand is out of sight. Try and talk to them and give them a cuddle. You may have to hold them tight if they do begin to panic as you do not want them to get further damage by moving around with a needle near them. Phlebotomist’s have experience with tearful and panicked children and they can help you distract them, or they may even bring in someone else to help distract if you are finding it difficult. Offer your child a reward when they have finished, showing they have done well and they deserve a treat for being brave.
As a parent, watching your child upset can be hard, but remember, a blood test is only done if necessary and could help them get better if they are ill.