Undergoing medical procedures can be a worrying time for anyone. These worries can be amplified for young children. The sterile feel of hospitals and the different types of procedures and diagnostic equipment used to diagnose illnesses and conditions can be overwhelming. We’ve rounded up some tips to support your child through medical procedures.
As a parent, doing your best to ease these fears and concerns can help both you and your child tackle the challenges of medical procedures and treatments.
Explain What Is Happening
The fear of the unknown is often worse than any actual procedures or treatments required. As much as possible and at a level your child will understand, explain what is happening to them. Start at the beginning and take through each step of any treatments or procedures they will need to have.
Explain why they need to have this done and what the result will be once the procedure is completed. Once your child can understand how this will help and what the procedure is for, it can reduce their anxiety.
Allow your child to gain as much or as little information as they need to. The more informed they are, the more comfortable they will be with what is happening. If you don’t know the answers. Try searching for them together. Call your medical practitioner, the MRI centre you are attending should your child require a MRI or even search reputable online sources for answers to any questions you cannot answer yourself.
Allowing your child to take some personal item or things that comforts them can also help calm nerves. It may be they cannot keep them with them at all times but explain it will be nearby waiting for them. Be it a stuffed animal, blanket, fidget toy or something else that calms them. Allow them to feel fully relaxed by having comfort items can help any treatment days go smoother.
Suppose your child is undergoing treatment for illnesses and conditions that will need to be repeated over time, such as cancer therapies. Be honest from the beginning. It may be that what they are facing could be painful to undergo or involve side effects. Children are resilient and able to cope with and bounce back from more than we give them credit for.
If they know what to expect and are aware of how what they are experiencing will affect them, they will be able to adjust much quicker. This in turn can help them adapt and cope with any unwanted side effects or pain.
If your child isn’t coping well or needs extra encouragement, shower praise! Let them know how well they did during the procedure. “You stayed so still during your scan.” “You were so brave during your tests.” “We were all so impressed.” Seemingly little statements can boost their confidence.
The biggest thing you can do for your child during these times is simply be there. Let them know you are there for them and try to remove any unnecessary pressures by arming both of you with knowledge.
We hope you enjoy these tips for supporting your child through medical procedures from our partner. Check out some of our other posts:
- Quick Tips to Help Your Kids Overcome First Day of School Anxiety
- How To Cope When Faced With A Sudden Disability
- Critical Illness Policy: Is It Right For Your Family?