How To Get Your Child To Take A Blood Test – Without Losing An Eye

I try my hardest not to be a helpful blogger, because nobody likes a smarty pants.

Also, that job has already been filled by countless others.

However, as I grow and get duller by the day I realise that I do have some helpful tidbits of info that you might just find useful.

For example, today we’re talking about the dreaded blood test and how to get your child to have one without punching you in the nose as you drag them out of the car.

To be fair, I’m not a fan of them. For some reason I’m fine getting injections or vaccinations but HATE the thought and feel of a needle in my vein. Shudder.

But they’re a necessary and helpful evil that almost everyone in their life will have at some stage. Kudos to those who voluntarily give away their claret. Gold star.

So one of children needed to get one and is of the age where they are old enough to ‘get’ what is going to happen.

Said child threatened to leave the home, throw self under bus and there were TEARS for Africa.

I turned to my awesomely supportive FACIE family to get some advice because a problem shared is a problem halved right?

Not surprisingly I got oodles of fabulous help and I wanted to share it with you in case you’re ever up shit creek without a paddle like I was.

How to get your child to take a blood test without them scratching your eyeballs out!

How To Willingly Get Your Child To Take A Blood Test

1. Ring around and find a pathology that has a nurse experienced with taking bloods from kids.

2. Have they seen anyone have one before? That can help. Talk to them about people who donate blood regularly. The FAQ section of Red Cross might help. Because #science

3. Try booking at your local pathology collection centre and ask if they have the book you can read to your child about having blood taken.

4. Don’t ever lie and say it won’t hurt but instead explain to them how important it is that it gets done.

5. The nurses are normally pretty good at dealing with slippery customers. I wouldn’t make too much of it, take the iPad or iPod in and distract them.

6. Something to remember is that it won’t take very long and that it only stings for a split second. Explain to them that they may feel the movement if that have to take more than one sample.

7. My youngest was happier lying down to have bloods draw as she saw less of what was helping.

8. Have one first – show them it is easy

9. We planned an ice cream date for afterwards as a reward for being brave.

10. If they are worried about pain, ask your GP/pharmacist for an Emla patch. It’s a gel that numbs the skin. We took it to the pathology clinic, they found the vein needed and applied the patch, then we returned half an hour later. Easy!!

11. If they’re worried about the entire process, keep it simple. Hurts like a scratch, takes less than a minute, and there is a cup-cake/ice-cream/ toy shop around the corner!!

12. I am a nurse and generally the older they are the more nervous/stressed they get, lying down is a good idea.

13. We use Elma on our eldest as she gets so worked up she almost passes out. It was pain-free.

Bonus Advice:

This incredible piece of advice is from a mumma of three who has children that have been in hospital for major surgeries. Her children have had numerous blood tests and so is a wealth of knowledge.

I always tell my kids the morning of it and say yes it sucks and yes it hurts a bit and it’s scary but I will be right there with you. It is not up for negotiating, this is happening and I know you will find you’re brave when it happens.

Afterwards we will go choose a toy/go to park/movie or what ever tickles ya fancy. I find a lot depends on the person doing the bloods too. I guess it all depends on your kids as well. My friend can’t tell her kid till they are sitting in the clinic chair!

I always remind them to keep very still and we practice that at home. Good luck mumma! It’s a tough one to handle and watch when they get upset.

How to get your child to take a blood test without scratching your eyeballs out

As for how it went with my child?

Well the fear was worse than the actual event. We were just lucky a friend told me about an AMAZING local vampire that she has taken her kids to.

So this is my suggestion, ask around and see if anyone you know can give you a referral. My child also got a cute teddy for being brave.

As the needle went in I told my child to look at me, not what was happening. We were both on the brink of tears, but survived.

To celebrate we stopped at the nearby coffee shop and had a treat.

Got any tricks to add? Do you hate needles?

What about being helpful? Should I keep on trying to?

Comments

  1. It’s a brave thing for both child and Mumma to do. Watching your kids face something they are so frightened of, is really stressful. I’m lucky that we have had so many blood tests for my kids, neither are scared, but there was a time when they were and these tips are perfect. I’m glad it is all over and done with, now my fingers are crossed for a good result. xxx

  2. Ugh it’s an awful experience. I had to take my 10 month old for one and we had to pretty much hold her down. Freaking hideous. The Elma patches for older kids are wonderful. They used these on my 5 year old when he was in hospital and it worked a treat!!

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