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Preparing Your Child

Medical tests can be scary for children, but you can help calm your child. First calm yourself, and then prepare him/her.

  • Set Realistic Expectations

Explain what the test involves and who will be doing it. Prepare your child for the “ouch”. Instead of promising it won’t hurt, say that it will be over quickly. Afterward, offer praise and comfort.
  • Anticipate and Inform

Schedule the test at a time when your child is unlikely to be tired or hungry. Ask ahead if the test will require a finger prick or blood draw, and then be honest with your child.
  • Practice

Practice at home beforehand. You could say “show me how to be stay still” and praise them for doing it well.
  • Be There with Your Child – or Not

Stay with your child during a blood draw. On the other hand, providing a urine specimen with a parent in the room may feel awkward for an older child. Walk your child through the process, and then determine what is appropriate based on your child’s age and ability.