Desensitization (e.g. child allowed to pretend with IV catheter tubing, applying it to their stuffed animal)
Metaphors (e.g. XRay and MRI are big cameras that take pictures and make noise)
Step-by-step walk through of what's to come
The doctor will start at your head, and look in your ears and then your nose
We will walk down the hall to the elevator, then go through the surgery waiting area...
Shown pictures of Ambulance before their transport
III. Technique: Distraction
Ask about their pets, school, playtime, favorites (toy, color, game)
Blowing bubbles (can also be used to teach diaphragmatic breathing for relaxation)
Light spinners or pin-wheels or other toys with bright lights and sounds
Children videos on a computer tablet (e.g. IPad)
"I Spy" games
Play children's music during procedures
Lin and Beckler in Herbert (2016) EM:Rap 16(6):7-8
Kosoko and Tobar (2021) Crit Dec Emerg Med 35(11): 3-9
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This page was written by Scott Moses, MD, last revised on 11/3/2021 and last published on 7/28/2022.