Support During Procedures

Teen at Doernbecher

Undergoing a medical procedure can be very stressful for your child. There are many ways you can help them cope with stressful experiences: 

Distraction – Take your child's mind off the pain through activities like I spy, blowing bubbles, reading or playing a game.  

Relaxation – Use activities such as taking deep breaths, counting or relaxing the body to decrease tension.  

Positioning – Change the position of your child or infant to ensure they are comfortable.   

Imagination – Invite your child to take an imaginary trip to a favorite place and tell you what they would like to see and do there.

Environment (music, lights, etc.) – Turn down the lights, play quiet music, swaddle or cover your child in soft blankets to create a relaxing environment. 

The following list highlights coping techniques for various ages of children.   





For your infant

  • Being swaddled in a blanket
  • Sucking on a pacifier
  • Being stroked gently 
  • Hearing soft singing or music

For your toddler or preschooler

  • Sitting on your lap during procedure
  • Blowing bubbles or pinwheels
  • Looking at a ViewMaster
  • Reading books that make noise or pop up

For your school-age child

  • Holding your hand
  • Taking deep breaths
  • Distraction (books, toys, counting backwards, etc.)
  • Imagery (going on an imaginary trip)

For your adolescent or young adult

  • Finding a comfortable position
  • Being a partner in decisions (having some control over their experience)
  • Listening to music
  • Doing breathing exercises