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How to prepare child for blood tests??

Hi all

We went to the hospital for our 3 monthly check on tuesday. They have uped his inhalers and given him three days of steroids as he seems to struggling lately.

They have called him in next wednesday for some blood tests, to check for



glandular fever

He has never had any bloods taken before, he has got some cream to put on his hands to numb them, not sure if it will work. I want his first experience to be a good one. Has anyone any tips please.

I am petrified for him as I detest blood tests, I'm trying not to let him know that though.

Also as he is so tired I was wondering if it could be diabetes, could they tell that too?

Many thanks in advance

5 Replies


How old is your son? We use cream at work and it does help to numb the area but will not stop him feeling it altogether - it takes the sting out of it. Is there anyone else who can go with you to take him to have them done, for support for you as well as to maybe hold him so you don't have to. The things they are testing for are all linked with tiredness but diabetes won't be identified from them as this needs to be a different test. I work with children of all ages who undergo procedures so please feel free to pm me.

Good luck




He is 6yrs Is it better to take from the arm or the hand? I would have thought it would be the arm rather than the hand.

My hubby is coming too, supporting us both. My mum has diabetes so I can test him on hers, just not sure what a normal reading is for a 6 yr old.

Thanks for your response



Hi my daughter has had bloods tests over the yrs (shes now 10) , as gloomy eeyore says it does take the sting away, with my daughter we found if she was looking at a wheres wally book it ditracted her enough that she didnt even realise the blood test had been done!!

If hes not into that any ofhis favourite books may help plus of course any special ted. When my daughter was 4 she needed teats so we took her cuddly along and he had a little dreeing put on the same place as she did for the cream then when it was time to do the bloods they took off the dressing and basically did a ""blood test on him just as they would her but saying that u cant see cuddlys blood as its magic and invisible, she was absolutely fine after that.

This yr for the 1st time she managed without cream so all the priming at an early age did help.

Hope this helps


Hi there,

Thought i'd quickly post. As well as being a medical student, i'm a phlebotomist. I regularly bleed children of all ages.

Not sure whether you're going to paeds or norm outpatients phlebotomy service. In normal outpatients most phlebs are only allowed to bleed from the inside crease of the arm (elbow area) not the hand. It is less painful anyway, stings a little more from hand. Most phlebotomy departments have certificates to give the kids, ask the phleb and tell the child that there is a certificate for afterwards. Bribery is always a hit! Favourite chocolate, toy, sticker etc as a reward for after.

Some kids are ace others are awful and you won't know til you get there. Distraction is the best thing too, get them looking at something, reading (not sure how old yours is?) or just talking.

Also it often helps if they sit on your lap as sadly you do have to sometimes pin them down as if they move you'll lose your point in the vein.

Anyway, feel free to pm as i've rushed this post a bit.

Also try and arrive at a quiet time as this reduces the waiting time which massively increases anxiety.

Good luck

Em x


My 8 year old and twin 3 year olds had bloods and skin prick testing done this week. For bloods they had magic cream and blood was taken on childrens unit where nurses distracted with bubbles, thomas tank video and a play station. We had no tears despite hysterics from the oldest one the night before because she was terrified. The staff were brilliant but they said it was us parents telling them what was going to happen the night before, staying calm matter of fact and saying ""you are going to have this done!"" that helped enormously and then they got bravery stickers.

We also bribed them with a trip for a burger if they behaved!!!

Another child screamed its head off but i overheard dad saying ""dont you want the blood test it's look only a little needle and will only hurt for a bit and there won't be a lot of blood"" perhaps avoid that method!!


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