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To donate blood if my kids are with me?

(44 Posts)
fuzzypicklehead Tue 16-Apr-13 05:17:04

Just that really. I keep hearing radio adverts urging people to donate, so I looked up sessions that are near me. All of the appointments for the next month (within 10 miles) are for times when I have no childcare. DDs are 5 and 3.

WIBU to take them with me, as I would for a doctor's appointment, etc? I can rely on them to sit quietly next to me, so I'm not worried that they would be disruptive.

It's more whether they'll be upset by the bag of blood coming out of mummy's arm. Eldest DD does get upset when people hurt themselves and are bleeding. But maybe it's a bit different when it's nicely contained in a tube and a bag and the person isn't screaming because they've fallen over?

I think it could be an opportunity to teach the girls about helping others and also that bleeding & needles aren't something to be afraid of, but I'm not sure whether 3 & 5 are too young?

LovesBeingWokenEveryNight Tue 16-Apr-13 05:28:11

Think the real question is if they will allow them to come in.

Kytti Tue 16-Apr-13 05:33:05

Great idea to give blood, but thinking about my own at this age, don't think it'd be a great idea to take the dc's. Sorry! You'll be hooked up to a whatnot and the 3 year old could wander...

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Tue 16-Apr-13 06:13:07

I gave blood with a 3YO and a 1YO in tow once!

It was a bit stressful, but I brought snacks and they were pretty good. Everyone else there thought they were wonderful. The nice thing about giving blood is that it's a lovely, camaraderie-type atmosphere there - you don't get many cats-bum sorts, so a couple of kids are warmly accepted and pretty much made a fuss of. smile That's not to say they'll appreciate them running amok, but YKWIM.

Ask them about it when you make the appointment, to be on the safe side.

My two weren't squeamish or scared - as with everything, if you act blasé about it, then they just follow your vibe.

sydlexic Tue 16-Apr-13 06:27:31

Depends on your DC. If I took DS he would faint. Due to my having a bad nose bleed when he was small he has a phobia of blood.

thehairybabysmum Tue 16-Apr-13 06:29:33

I take mine when I go. As said it is v friendly. The promise of a biscuit at the end keeps mine well behaved!

gindrinker Tue 16-Apr-13 06:47:29

If you can bribe them to sit quietly and not disturb everyone else I wouldn't have a problem with children there. You can explain that the people are giving their blood to help sick people and it doesn't hurt.

selsigfach Tue 16-Apr-13 06:51:20

My mum took us with her when we were little. I was fascinated by it all! I grew up thinking it was a normal thing to do and now go today. If they're good, take them!

exoticfruits Tue 16-Apr-13 06:54:02

I have seen DCs there and they were fine. It depends on your DCs and whether they will sit still and not wander, because once you are connected up there is nothing you can do. It isn't distressing, nothing much to see.

Ffuntimewincies Tue 16-Apr-13 09:46:54

My local sessions say absolutely no children which is why I've not been able too give blood (despite wanting to) for the last 6 years. Their loss.

Sounds like some areas allow it, others not. Whether it will bother them though depends on the child.

specialsubject Tue 16-Apr-13 09:54:22

as others note, depends on the session - I used to attend one held in a van where there wasn't room to swing a cat, let alone park a pushchair! I've moved and now it's a big hall, and there are quite often kids around.

you won't be able to move for about 20 minutes so it does work better if they are young enough to stay in a pushchair, or old enough to amuse themselves quietly. But I think it sets a great example. Everyone is there as a volunteer and I can't imagine anyone having a problem with it.

free stickers too!

AuntieStella Tue 16-Apr-13 09:59:51

It also depends on the layout and busyness of the place it's being done.

I've taken children if I couldn't park them elsewhere, but only once big enough to sit unattended in a waiting area I knew existed, and that they were capable of staying put, and not bothering the staff whilst I was hooked up.

MoaningYoniWhingesAgain Tue 16-Apr-13 10:00:46

Depends on the children IMHO. I gave blood last week, several children were there and they had rolls of big stickers saying my mum/dad gave blood today. I would take my 6yo, but usually have my 4yo too and he is just too 'lively' <ahem> so I only get to go when childfree. Plus there can be a huge amount of waiting around.

AphraBehn Tue 16-Apr-13 10:01:54

I've taken my son with me before when he was about 5. He sat the opposite site to my donation arm and couldn't see it.

I've also seen children at the drinks table waiting for their parent to finish, being supplied with copious amounts of squash and biscuits!

They have stickers that say 'my mum/dad gave blood today' so I think they expect some children to be there.

BumBiscuits Tue 16-Apr-13 10:01:55

I've taken my DD1 several times with me. She loves going and was probably 6 the first time she came with me. Once one of the nurses gave her a tour and an explanation about what happens next to the donated blood. There's also the biscuit and stickers at the end. They even had stickers saying "My Mum is a Lifesaver" or something so they obviously don't mind kids accompanying grown ups. They need the blood.

My DD2 would not sit still for long enough so I leave her behind. Saying that I haven't been for a while and she's nearly 5 now so maybe next time.

lucysnowe Tue 16-Apr-13 10:08:55

I wouldn't personally. I was giving blood once pre-DC next to a woman who had her 6-7 year old DD with her. Her DD was super good, just reading quietly next to her, when suddenly she (the DD) keeled over, fainted and I think hurt her head quite badly. Not sure if she suddenly noticed the bag of blood, or her mum looking a bit pained, or what. Her poor mum couldn't help her, being mid-flow, and was very distraught. You don't know how DC are going to react to mum being incapacitated.

But this does raise an interesting question - perhaps the donation service could thing about providing a small creche, with volunteers? There are loads of potential doners out there who can't get to a session because they have no childcare.

Rufus43 Tue 16-Apr-13 10:18:12

My local clinic is fine with children, I have taken mine before.....they ate my biscuit! My 3 were quite happy watching and they now expect to give blood when they are older. On one occasion a friend and I shared the child care outside the venue, might that be an option?

GibberTheMonkey Tue 16-Apr-13 10:38:54

I've always taken my dc4 with me. He turned four yesterday so is young. He sits next to me and plays on my phone, I've never had any complaints. I think they're just grateful for every donation.

Last time he needed a wee as I finished so took him to the loo. A nurse had to come with us and probably a good thing too as I started bleeding everywhere.
He was fine as I was fine. I just said 'oh dear I'm bleeding everywhere' he told me I was being messy.

iZombie Tue 16-Apr-13 11:32:35

I've taken mine. Sometimes all three, usually just the youngest. I book the first appointment as it's the only one that works for school pick up and nicely coincides with nap time. The staff are awesomegrin

PeterParkerSays Tue 16-Apr-13 11:46:44

My DS (3) goes with DH to give blood, if I can't get A/L and be at home. It's not ideal, because you can't chase after them, and small child + lots of biscuits makes for a fun filled afternoon after donation, but it can be done.

The staff ply DS with squash and biscuits whilst his dad is engaged, and he gets stickers to take away afterwards. Also, if it's in a leisure centre, you might find there's a creche for the younger one.

squeakytoy Tue 16-Apr-13 11:51:58

see if you can find a youtube video showing what happens

YoniBraxton Tue 16-Apr-13 11:57:49

My mum is a donor carer and it's fine to take your dc. It's good for them to see donation as a normal thing to do. I'm sure squash, biscuits and stickers will make it a fun experience for them!

Librarina Tue 16-Apr-13 12:06:45

I'm not currently able to give blood as I'm all pregnant, but I've donated 29 pints so far (rather proud of that)

My parents both donated at our local church hall throughout my childhood and I always went with them. Admitedly I was a rather placid child so didn't cause much bother I imagine, but my greatest treat in the world was to be allowed to pull off my Dad's plaster. I took great delight in doing it veeeery slowly.

I think watching my parents give blood made it very normal to me, and when I was old enough to donate myself my Dad took me along to my first session.

Last year Dad received 11 pints as he had an operation to remove bowel cancer, it all comes around in the end!

TheCatIsUpTheDuff Tue 16-Apr-13 15:39:57

I used to go with my mum when I was a kid, but I was the sort of kid who would happily sit at the side with a book. The only after-effect is that I'm a slightly evangelical donor myself now, only I can't go at the moment because I'm pregnant. I squeezed one in before I did the test, though!

differentkindofpenguin Tue 16-Apr-13 17:19:45

I was turned away when I went with a small child, the reason given was that I could faint or feel unwell after I leave the session. Sounds very sensible to me, but maybe if you went with another adult it would be ok?

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