Preparing Your Child for a Blood Test

Blood tests are a routine part of healthcare. But they can be scary for some kids. How should you talk to your child about blood tests? Let's look at that, and a few other things you can do to make blood tests easier.

Tell them what to expect

First, let your child know what to expect. Tell them their doctor needs a little bit of their blood, and that getting it is quick and easy. Sometimes blood is taken with a finger prick. Sometimes blood is taken through a needle put in the child's arm for just a moment. And after blood is taken, they'll get a bandage. Let them know that they'll still have plenty of blood left in their body.

Be honest

Next, instead of telling them that a blood test is painless, be honest. Let them know that it may hurt just a little bit, but that the pain doesn't last long. And let them know you'll be there with them the whole time. If you notice that your child is very anxious about the upcoming test, have them talk about their feelings so you can reassure them.

Other tips

And finally, don't forget the basics. Follow the doctor's rules for eating and drinking before the test. Try to schedule the test for when your child won't be overly tired. And during the test, help keep your child distracted by having them look away or talk about something else. For more tips, ask your child's doctor.