Jump to content


Calming Child's Medical Fears


Recommended Posts

My 9 year old dd just returned home from a few days at the hospital where she received IV antibiotics to finish off an infection that she has been fighting for about a month. The infection was around a newly installed button in her abdomen so she has experienced pain when I cleaned the area or opened and closed the button. Now she is afraid to have anyone touch the button or clean around it. Even though it no longer hurts, she gets worked up anticipating that it will hurt her again. I requested a Child Life Specialist to come in and teach dd some techniques so she can calm herself, but unfortunately Child Life only came in and told me things that I can do to get dd to cooperate with me. That isn't the problem. She is quite cooperative, but she is suffering more that necessary because she is getting so anxious. 


Can any of you recommend books, websites, youtube videos, etc. that I can use to help dd learn some techniques that will help her?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe making a deal with her that you will stop when she says, but she can only ask you to stop if it hurts? And if it is still hurting it won't be touched until she has pain medicine. Maybe it's a different sensation now that doesn't hurt but feels strange and she dislikes. Maybe cooling the area can decrease any types of feelings she may have. Or only do one step at a time and wait for her to allow you to continue - step 1- prepare supplies, step 2 - move shirt out of way, etc. Sometimes exaggerated small steps may help her.

Edited by displace
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites



It calms the amygdala (lizard brain).


Every parent should know and use or teach EFT on/to their kids. Especially for (scary to kids) medical situations.





Basically DD gets to name her fears, dislikes, and physical sensations out loud (fear of pain, fear going back to hospital, taking more meds, seeing a certain doctor, seeing you squint your eyes up as you approach her belly, the smell of the cleaning solution, it makes her heart race, or stomach squeeze into a knot, or butterflies in her chest/stomach - ANY aspects she doesn't like). She talks about each one for a round (or more, if needed) of tapping until she doesn't feel any emotional/physical anxiety about the situation.


It sounds like a lot, but a round of tapping is about 1 minute or less. So she could be much calmer in 2-10 minutes, depending on how many aspects she needs to "tap out". She might need to do it again if more aspects/feelings come up again next time you need to touch it, but if you get them all in one round, that is not unheard of either.


Best of luck! I hope you both feel better about the situation soon!


Keep calm and Tap on! :D

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My dd had a port infection, had to have the port removed and they couldn't close the wound because of healing/wound protocol. She had to have a new port placed. She had some issues over both the wound care and accessing the new port.  We took a multi-prong approach, including:

1. building up a routine of what we would do before and after

2. acknowledging that sometimes things hurt, and that our body is designed to feel pain as a warning system to us

3. working on conscious relaxation, taking deep breaths, and visualizing a happy thing

4. rewarding afterwards


We had a brief time during radiation therapy where we had to use ativan. Her skin was literally breaking down, and having her mask snapped into the table freaked her out as well.  If I knew then what I knew now, I would've jumped to anti-anxiety meds earlier.  Retraining the brain not to freak out takes time, you have to build new patterns of reaction.


conscious relaxation: http://move-with-me.com/self-regulation/4-breathing-exercises-for-kids-to-empower-calm-and-self-regulate/


guided meditations (I linked you to an example of a bedtime one, but they can be about anything):


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...