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Blood work and kids..


Baylor
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Can I ask what you do to help them? I am taking my after son today after school for the bloodwork and I am sure he is going to be apprehensive. He has never had blood work before. Any tips appreciated!

 

My son who is 7 freaked out the first time he had blood drawn. Turned out to be a great strategy for him, he said afterward since he was so busy freaking out, he didn't even feel the pinch...LOL. I was also soooooo worried since it was his first time, he could probably smell my fear.

 

But....the next time we went we talked about being calm, that he would feel a pinch, and brought our IPOD. He sat on my lap, put his head (forehead) on my right arm to watch the video (had earplugs in), and they were able to take blood from his left arm. I think bringing something else for them to focus on really helps. So far we've done it the same way every time (about 8 times since march) and he's done great.

 

We use the same strategy for my daughter who's 6. But she also found it really interesting to talk about and check out all the tubes. It took a while longer her first time, but we just made it all about the facts...blood cells, tubes, bacteria, lab etc. It kind of took the emotion out of it. She likes to know what's going on :)

 

I should also say that that 1st time with my son he was in a flare, so that just makes everything worse. We ended up going out for a hot wheels car as an incentive each time too.

 

Good luck! I always feel so bad for them. I don't think the pinch is too bad, but just being in a closed in area, near needles is such a stressor.

Hollis

Edited by ziva
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We've used EMLA cream which numbs the skin. You need to get an rx for it and put apply it to the venipuncture area beforehand.

 

Also, bribery is good for young kids. I used to reward/bribe my younger dd for throat cultures, something small (but better than a sticker!) like a $5 webkinz.

 

Can I ask what you do to help them? I am taking my after son today after school for the bloodwork and I am sure he is going to be apprehensive. He has never had blood work before. Any tips appreciated!

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My son (just turned 5) is really science oriented so we have framed it as scientific and encourage him to watch so it's understood and "known". We also always call ahead and let them know he is fearful so they arrange for a nurse who is great with kids or are at least prepared to be soft and gentle. We let our son know ahead of time that we will go straight to the store afterward to get his "prize" (he gets a car or plane from the kiosk at Rite Aid and that is the only time I buy it for him so it's really special, plus they cost 5 bucks). Whenever he asks for one at another time I remind him that they are just for blood draw rewards. Boy oh boy, it all sounds so darn sad when I write it all out. Our poor kids!

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We do all of the above. EMLA cream is great if you put enough on, and early enough (45 mins beforehand). And I guess it depends how deep their veins are, because for 2 of my kids it works well, but the third has very fair skin and deep veins, and it doesn't work for him. For my fearful PANDAS child a detailed explanation helped, making sure to tell him that his body would make more blood to replace the blood that was taken. He was more upset about someone else taking HIS blood, than he was about the needle. We have him play his DSi during the draw to keep his mind busy. And of course the bribe is huge. That helps more than anything. He's had so many blood draws now that he's a pro and doesn't need anything but the bribe now. When he wants something he actually asks if needs bloodwork anytime soon. LOL.

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Thanks for all the great ideas! I am going with the "incentive" program. lol.. We tried to get it done today, I told him before we were going and then all the labs near us were closed for Training.. Figures.. so he geared all up for nothing.. We are going tomorrow before school. I don't want him thinking about it all day tomorrow.

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