Urban baby published a very helpful article today on helping to alleviate the trauma of an E.R. visit for your child. I found it really helpful and quite on target with the change is strang
e brand being that we are all about taking strange situations and helping our children adapt to them. Here is what the article said:
A trip to the E.R. with a child often means hours of waiting, needles, the stress of watching your baby in discomfort, and docs who look nothing like George Clooney. But it’s still your job to alleviate the trauma for your child.
Pediatrician Dr. William Sears, best-selling author of more than 30 parenting books and father of eight, says an emergency room visit is a chance to shine as a parent. He spoke to UrbanBaby about some easy things you can do to keep the fear factor to a minimum.
Stress less: Stay calm. An anxious parent makes for an anxious child.
Comedy hour: Humor is the best medicine. Crack a joke or act silly to diffuse tension.
Mind over matter: Keep in mind that children who feel better, heal better.
Security blanket: Pack a favorite comfort item — a stuffed animal, rattle, or book.
Advocate: Speak up. Ask questions, update hospital personnel of any change in your child’s condition, and take notes. You’re there to represent your child and to make informed decisions on her behalf.
Hand holders: At the hospital, ask for a child life specialist or social worker. A child life specialist has been specially trained to help little patients and their families cope with the stress of a hospital visit.
Needle know-how: Almost every kid fears the dreaded needle. Ask if the hospital has a topical anesthetic such as Zingo.
Pain meds: Feel free to request pain medicine for your pride and joy. Little known fact: Asking the E.R. intake personnel (receptionist) for pain medication can sometimes fast-track junior’s case (translation: she’ll get to see the doctor sooner).
Honesty: Tell your child what to expect, and tell the truth — you want her to trust you. If a needle is in her future, say, “You’ll feel a little stick, and it will last as long as it takes to say your name.” Draw pictures to help explain what’s happening: If your child is getting stitches, sketch out a set of railroad tracks and tell her how it will bring the two sides of the wound together.
Scope it out: Not all emergency rooms are created equal. Some are staffed with pediatricians and have a kid-friendly waiting room; others do not. It pays to do your research before an emergency happens. Call or visit the E.R. and find out if they have pediatricians, a pediatric intensive care unit and child life specialists.