Skip to main content

Golisano Children's Hospital / For Parents / Helping Your Child During a Medical Procedure

Helping Your Child During a Medical Procedure

photoYou may be able to stay with your child for some procedures. Let the doctors, nurses and child life specialists know how your child reacts in certain medical situations. Together, you can decide whether your presence will calm your child or make it harder for him or her.

If you accompany your child, there are many things you can do to support your child and show that you trust the staff. In all interactions, use a calm and soothing voice. Provide ongoing reinforcement and praise!

Know What to Expect.

Explain to your child what happens during certain tests and procedures.

  • Take a Virtual Tour!  Help your child understand "What to Expect" at a hospital visit for a procedure (photos, illustrations, social stories etc.)

Provide Comfort and Distractions During Tests and Procedures


  • Encourage sucking
  • Touch in a soothing way
  • Sing or play music
  • Hold and rock
  • Hang a mobile toy


  • Touch in a soothing way, or hold and rock, depending on situation
  • Sing or play music
  • Hold favorite personal items like a blanket or a toy
  • Blow bubbles
  • Play with toys
  • Look at books

Preschoolers and school-age children

  • Hold hands
  • Hold on your lap
  • Blow bubbles or on a pinwheel (focus on breathing)
  • Explain what they see, feel, and hear
  • Hold favorite personal items
  • Look at pictures or books (e.g., I Spy)
  • Massage
  • Sing or play music
  • Ask your child to do a job like holding still, holding the band-aid,etc.


  • Talk
  • Play music
  • Play video tapes/games
  • Massage
  • Do deep breathing exercises
  • Focus their attention on pictures or a relaxing place in their memory