If you have ever had a child in A&E or a hospital ward, you will know that what they need is distraction. Something – anything – to take their mind off the pain and the fright about what is happening to them.
If you were to approach this with a ‘coaching’ hat on, your conversations with your child would be based on more questions than statements, to encourage the child to engage the creative and verbal parts of their brain. Give your child plenty of time to find the words they need.
Here is a download that just might help. It’s quite a busy document but all the better to keep a little one amused. It can be filled in by the child or the parent.
The aim is to help your child to build their resilience by:
- Focusing on familiar and fun details of their life.
- Helping them to articulate how they are actually feeling.
- Giving them space and tools to process what is happening to they can begin to make sense of it.
- Giving them something to look forward to when they are discharged.
- Passing the time colouring in the picture and adding names of new friends.
This could also be stored on the clipboard that holds the observations chart at the end of the bed to give care-givers information about your child as an individual.
When I was in clinical nursing roles I always found the best way to distract a child from a procedure (even a needle!) was to engage them in chit-chat about their interests. Getting them to count backwards, especially in another language, was another trick that worked a treat whenever I had to give a child a vaccination.
All children deserve to be reassured. I hope this helps.
Based on a blog originally posted on www.virtualadmin.ie
Click here to print the CHILD IN HOSPITAL download