Dd (autism) hates blood tests. I don't talk about it anymore if one is coming up.she just gets worked up. we just do it there and then (they usually use some numbing cream but we still need 2 adults to hold her down). we have blood tests very rarely and this works best in our case (wouldn't probably work of blood tests are regular).
We've had to have a few for DD (Aspergers) problem with numbing cream (it does work) is that it needs a good half hour to an hour to work, which just prolongs the situation in my experience.
When we last had one done, it was done with a freeze spray, which was instant. The team that did it, was in the children's outpatients bit, so lots of experience, they had a nice room, and a portable DVD player. DD chose a DVD and sat chest to chest with me, they distracted her with the DVD and once the spray was done, they did it so quick, she couldn't believe it was over.
I'd promised her a trip to the shop at the hospital and she could pick something after. This also helped, as I could remind her of it at the time.
Just taken both of ours to the local childrens hospital as coeliacs. DD asd just too anxious and refused point blank, DS nervous but went in with me, very slick team, freeze spray book needle in and done in 30 secs. But I did offer a bribe to both which I find helps enourmously
Ds has had to have a lot of blood tests, it is always horrible, but after one particularly awful occasion, we realised that this is what works for him, and now insist on this.
No numbing cream - ds has sensory issues, hates things like sun cream, plus he knows something is going to happen when the cream is on, and it just prolongs the anxiety
Find best, most confident nurse in the building
....plus one other!
Don't bother with trying for distraction (it has NEVER worked in the past!)
Warm up potential areas for blood to be taken (so veins are more prominent) I usually have a warmed up beanie bear, or have taken an instant heat hand warmer for this in the past
Hold ds on my lap, facing outwards with my arms wrapped around him.
Get very confident and brusque nurse to do it as quickly as possible!!
Obviously all children are different, some children may find the play experts and distractions really helpful, others might be fine with the numbing cream. But this has worked out to be the best way for us.
Yes, agree with Sirzy, even though we haven't had any success with the play specialists, we do ring ahead or write out on a card what works best with ds (I have actually printed out a card which I keep in my hospital bag, because we had such a battle with one nurse taking blood from ds!)
Not ASD here so my ds reaction may not be relevant (nurses tried to distract with a book but my iPad really did the job). But I felt squeamish and light headed and had to sit down and ask for water. I am normally fine and wasn't nervous or anything so I don't know what happened there but did feel a bad mummy for not supporting my ds who didn't notice as the iPad was far more interesting.
My DS loves technology so one of the nurses managed to distract him with the IPad while the other one worked on him and he was surprisingly alright afterwards.
DH took him to hospital the following time and I gave him clear instructions beforehand on how to distract him with the iPad. He didn't bother and DS became as pale as a sheet and was sick shortly afterwards.
DS young and pre verbal, ASD, but I was really impressed with the numbing cream but yes, you are waiting around an hour before for it to work so whether you think that might make it worse? Our letter gave you a choice, turn up an hour before if you want the cream. Our room had a TV with cartoons on but there was still ALOT of wriggling! Good luck x