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Having blood drawn for a laboratory test generally isn't much fun for anyone, but for children, it can be a frightening experience. Having an understanding parent or caregiver help them through the process is vital to a confused child. Following are some tips to help your child prepare for the laboratory test and to get through the blood draw itself.
Prepare - Tell your child how the blood will be drawn. Be honest and let your child know that it will hurt, but only for a minute. Sharing with the child that having blood drawn is hard even for grown-ups can make the procedure less intimidating.
Practice – Encourage the child to do a laboratory procedure on a favorite doll or stuffed animal, mentions Joy Goldberger, MS, CCLS, education coordinator for the child life department at Johns Hopkins Children's Center, Baltimore, Maryland.
Bribe – Offer to take your child out for ice cream afterward, or offer another reward they would enjoy.
Stay – Plan on staying with your child during the laboratory test. It's likely your mere presence will help calm the child. Also consider bringing a favorite book to read while the sample is being taken, or singing a song together.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|