Going to the hospital is stressful for so many reasons. Adults understand the realities behind their visit, whereas children are often more naive and may not know how or what to do when visiting
1. Talk to your child calmly about why you are going and explain to them that a visit is necessary. Offer them some kind of target, so that they behave calmly in the hospital. This might be an ice cream afterwards or some time together watching their favourite TV show.
2. Tell your child to observe things that are good about the hospital and be positive about the experience. Perhaps they have a really nice doctor or receive a colourful sticker when they visit?
3. Ask your child to tell themselves a positive statement. ‚”I am brave‚”, ‚” am wonderful‚” and “I am unique‚” are a few good ones, to inspire optimism.
4. If a child is nervous, you might like to try a breathing exercise to try and slow down the pace of their breath. Ask children to imagine that when they breathe into their tummy, it creates a glow, see if they can power this glow with steady breathing.
5. To relax the body before an operation, they might like to tense their whole body, including their facial muscles and then let go and feel themselves sinking into the bed.
6. If they are frightened of an injection, they might like to close their eyes and imagine they are breathing in and out calmness into the room.
7. Perhaps you might like to read a visualisation from one of our books, to help keep them calm whilst listening to the reassuring sound of a familiar voice?
Try Relax Kids Quiet Spaces CD (Also available as an MP3) to help reduce stress and anxiety. Many play therapists use Relax Kids products in hospitals