Helping Your Child How we can help you and your child when having treatment or procedures
Distraction is one of the techniques used to help you and your child cope with pain and anxiety. People sometimes think that distraction is a way of diverting the child’s attention away from the pain. They are altering their understanding of it.
Distraction provides fun control and understanding of children’s emotions and feelings. It allows children to understand their treatment with a clear explanation.
Here are some reasons as to why distraction techniques are widely used and often very successful:
it may help you/your child understand pain
it may help take your child’s mind off the thought of pain
it helps you/your child to be absorbed in a particular activity
it helps you/your child relax
it gives an opportunity for choice, control and positive involvement
Through research it appears a child will not cope with pain effectively alone. Therefore distraction therapy must be interactive with an adult. It is not sufficient to leave a child with a book, toy or just music to listen to. If possible allow your child to choose a coping technique, with the help of an adult who will be able to give you ideas to age appropriate toys, games or activities.
We aim to offer many different distraction techniques to help you/your child cope with the treatment or procedure they are having. As much as possible we like you/your child to choose the coping strategy. Here are some of the simple distraction and coping techniques that we can offer:
Games and exercises which encourage controlled breathing
Blowing bubbles, balloons, and party blowers, blowing feathers or an imaginary balloon.
Pop up books, “Where’s Wally” books, puzzle books, hospital books
Games and Puzzles
Hand held American football or tank game (battery operated), small puzzles, I spy games
Music Relaxation tapes, singing, musical toys and instruments
Imaginary and Make Believe Play
Puppets, favourite soft toy, therapeutic dolls, imaginary journeys
Please do not hesitate to ask Emma Marshall (Play Specialist) or Joanne Whitley (Nursery Nurse), if you would like any more information or if you feel your child may need some distraction during any treatments or procedures.
Updated Winter 08/09
CHU, Jubilee Building, Leeds General Infirmary, Great George's St., Leeds LS1 3EX