How to help your child during emergency care

PHOTO BY ROBERT MESCAVAGE

  1. Stay calm. Your child will look to you to see if they should be nervous, upset or scared. The calmer you can remain, the calmer your child will be.
  2. Be honest. Children do best when they are prepared for what is going to happen. If something is going to hurt, sting, tickle or be cold, tell your child what it will feel like and how long it will last.
  3. Give comfort. Your child may need extra comfort from you and may not act how they would at home or in a familiar environment. Hold them on your lap, hold their hand, ask for a blanket, or dim the lights to help your children feel more comfortable.
  4. Speak up. If your child is in pain or you have a question or concern regarding your child’s care, please speak up. You know your child best, and the staff needs your help to provide the best care for your child.
  5. Provide distraction. Playing games or helping your children focus on something else can help distract them if they are in pain or nervous. Counting, I-spy, 20 questions, singing, storytelling and deep breathing can all work to distract your child and require no extra equipment.This article appears in the summer 2017 issue of Upstate Health magazine.
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