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.
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.