Helpful Hints for Parents 

How to Help During Procedures

Procedures are often stressful and frightening experiences for children and families. Planning ways to cope with procedures can help your child have a better experience.

  • Be honest -- don't say a procedure won't hurt if it will.
  • Tell the staff what helps your child stay relaxed.
  • Focus on and talk about positive things.
  • Praise your child during and after the procedure for doing all the things that are asked of him or her. For example, "you did a good job holding your arm still."
  • Talk in a calm, quiet voice.
  • Place yourself where your child can see or touch you while you hold a hand or rub the forehead or cheek.
  • Ask questions to prepare yourself for the procedure.
How to Make Your Child More Comfortable in the Hospital

Being in the hospital can be upsetting for children and may interfere with normal childhood activities. Children may face:

  • Anxiety and pain related to their diagnosis, procedures or treatment
  • Change in normal routines such as sleeping, meals, school and play
  • Separation from family, friends and the comfort of home
  • Loss of independence

As a parent, you know your child better than anyone and can help make him or her more comfortable. Please be sure to:

  • Tell us about your child's favorite activities, school, family, friends, pets, reactions to being sick, etc.
  • Share any concerns you may have about your child's behavior while in the hospital
  • Join your child during play activities when possible

For more age-specific suggestions, see the list in the right column.

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