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Should I tell my 2 and a half year old she's having a blood test this morning?

(33 Posts)
maybethedayafter Fri 09-Sep-16 07:46:03

She hates hospitals. Her veins are very weak from her time in NICU, when she had to have a cannula earlier this year it took half an hour to get it in. She is old enough now, not to fully understand, but to have some sort of comprehension. I have some numbing cream to put on her and I know she'll ask "what's that Mummy?" How is best to handle this? Should I tell her to prepare her and reassure her that I'll be there? Or will it make it worse if I tell her?

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Fri 09-Sep-16 07:47:28

I wouldn't. Deal with it as it happens. Good luck

megletthesecond Fri 09-Sep-16 07:52:02

Is there a Cbeebies Get Well Soon for blood tests? The nice Dr Ranj might have covered it.

AmateurExpert Fri 09-Sep-16 07:53:23

I wouldn't either! Poor little thing. I think at this age their best without the advance warning

Good luck

imwornout Fri 09-Sep-16 07:53:53

It depends if you think she'd prefer to know? Some children like to know in advance so they can be prepared some like to just get on with it.

How old is she?

imwornout Fri 09-Sep-16 07:54:31

Oops just seen she's 2.5 years, I probably wouldn't say anything!

maybethedayafter Fri 09-Sep-16 08:03:17

OK. I won't say anything. I just hope she doesn't remember what the cream is for - she had to have it quite a lot when she was admitted earlier this year.

I'm also going to try to get her to drink as much water as possible as that should help the veins to be more prominent shouldn't it? I'll bring Max the Monkey too and see if he wants a blood test - he's an expert at using inhalers and taking medicine!

maybethedayafter Fri 09-Sep-16 08:07:25

I didn't know about Cbeebies Get Well Soon. I can't see one for a blood test but that'll be really useful for the future (hopefully it won't be needed). Thank you.

Bellyrub1980 Fri 09-Sep-16 08:07:33

Also, make sure she is nice and warm. Try and get her to do a song with lots of arm and hand movements in the car to stimulate as much blood flow as possible.

Good luck!

FruitCider Fri 09-Sep-16 08:08:48

As a nurse at 2.5 I would absolutely tell your child beforehand. I have with my child for all vaccinations and blood tests. I say it feels like a cat scratch and might hurt for a minute but then it's over. My child does not cry at vaccinations. I'm of the opinion that if you hide what is going to happen it breaks down trust and makes the experience worse.

GoldFishFingerz Fri 09-Sep-16 08:13:34

Yes tell her but also tell her what you have with you ...

Take calpol to help her think it will help her cope. It will probably be useless but mentally positive.

Sweets! Bribery.

Numbing cream.

Nice nurses

NattyTile Fri 09-Sep-16 08:13:53

Please tell her when you put the cream on. Horrid horrid I know, but what are you going to do otherwise? Lie to her all the way to the hospital?

I also have a child with poor veins and massive needle phobia. I know how tempting it is not to say anything. But she needs to know she can't trust you. So she needs to know you will always tell her the truth, and that you will be right there with her.

NattyTile Fri 09-Sep-16 08:14:13

Sorry that should say she needs to know she CAN trust you.

popthisoneout Fri 09-Sep-16 08:15:31

I'm a nurse and second what Fruit says. Best to be straight and maintain the trust. My parents used to lie to me about vaccines then Spring it on me in the surgery. I had a terrible needle phobia for years. Must better to explain what's going to happen and manage it proactively.

GoldFishFingerz Fri 09-Sep-16 08:15:49

Just casually tell her before you walk into the hospital. Let her choose the sweets 'which sweets would you like after your hospital tests'

PatMullins Fri 09-Sep-16 08:15:59

Distraction is the best- iPad maybe?
Is there a way you can put the cream on her during a nap beforehand?

Footle Fri 09-Sep-16 08:16:07

Have you got her a little present for afterwards ? If you tell her about the test and about the present at the same time it may help.
If this is something that's going to happen a lot, can you arrange a chat with a play therapist at the hospital so you're more prepared in future ?

celeryisnotasuperfood Fri 09-Sep-16 08:19:15

My little girl copes much better if she has time to process something so lots of prep is better. (That said you will know yours better if this approach will just induce anxiety)
I hated having things sprung on me and still do...
At 2.5 they understand very well even if they can't talk to the same level

maybethedayafter Fri 09-Sep-16 08:20:01

Oh I'm torn now. My instinct was to tell her but I didn't want to cause unnecessary anxiety and get her all worked up beforehand. She really hates anything medical - her sister was born recently and she wouldn't come near me when I was in the wheelchair and wouldn't put her hand in the incubator.

At least I know now to put LOADS of the cream on and I'm also going to put some on the back of her hands as they've never been able to get a needle in the vein in her arm.

Sirzy Fri 09-Sep-16 08:22:10

I agree with those who are saying to tell her.

Ds is 6 now but has had a lot of procedures over the years and I have airways made sure to explain to him in a way he can understand what is happening and to talk him through things. To me it's important he can trust me, especially around things medical.

If she struggles ask the hospital if they can rearrange for a time when the play specialist can be there to help her.

maybethedayafter Fri 09-Sep-16 08:22:45

If I'd forward planned I could have ordered this

MrsMulder Fri 09-Sep-16 08:22:50

I am a paediatric nurse and didn't tell my 2 and a half year old! They had me hold her facing away with her arm behind her back and distracted with chatting and bubbles and she didn't even notice.

maybethedayafter Fri 09-Sep-16 09:17:54

Oh dear. The cream is on and she already doesn't like it on her hands.

I haven't said anything yet but I will do closer to the appointment.

Sirzy Fri 09-Sep-16 09:19:38

If she won't tolerate the cream ask them about the spray. That is done straight before so no having to sit with the cream on.

DontFuckingSayIt Fri 09-Sep-16 09:33:43

My daughter is 3.5 which obviously makes a difference, but I was dithering about whether to warn her about her vaccinations. She's quite an anxious child and likes to know what's happening, and I don't like to lie to her so I decided to tell her exactly what was going to happen. Thankfully the nurse we had was lovely and she didn't even cry, she was very proud of herself and wanted to do it again! I think it's better to tell her.

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