Children’s Blood Draws: Making it a positive experience

I believe it is necessary to talk to the child and be as positive as possible. Tell them exactly what to expect and what they are expected to do. Experience tells me that a child will be more willing to listen if the parent is calm. I will often ask the parent(s) if they are themselves comfortable with needles. If not, we need to approach the blood draw accordingly.

Often if a child is upset I will personally take the time to have him or her focus on me and just on me, in whatever way I can. Speaking to them like an adult makes all the difference in the world. I will sometimes give the child a “job” to do such as holding the cotton ball for me. This is a distraction that amazingly enough does work.

We find that if a parent is upset or thinks that the child will be upset, they give off this energy that the child invariable will respond to negatively. Too much over-simulation in this respect can have a negative result. The child becomes squirmy and rejects all attempts at the blood draw.

At A New Leaf, we work together to make the kids feel comfortable. Our receptionist Paula is herself a mom and can entertain children like no other! She is my right hand when it comes to drawing blood on children. Toys and stickers are always here for a reward. We also have a product we use to topically freeze the area where the needle will be inserted so that your child doesn’t feel it.

So the take home on this is to trust your child to be a superstar and take into consider your own fears and acknowledge them.

I hope this helps some of you who are debating bringing your child in due to the fact that they may become agitated or get upset.

We have it covered! We will welcome them into one of our cushy armchairs and have them out and on their way in a matter of minutes.


Lab Manager