Breathing techniques are very important in preventing your child from becoming upset and in helping your child relax if they have become worried. Diaphragmatic breathing, or “belly breathing,” is a wonderful way to help your child relax by slowing their breathing and heart rate and making their blood pressure more stable. The ultimate goal is for your child to be able to relax quickly when he or she becomes stressed. The best way to help this happen is through practicing breathing techniques on a daily basis. Practicing deep breathing regularly for a few weeks before a stressful visit can be helpful.
Teach your child to take a deep breath, hold the breath for a few seconds and then release it. For young children, using a pinwheel or bubbles can help them focus on their breathing and distract from their stress!
DeepBreathing Script: for older children or children with more highly developed verbal skills
Make your own pinwheel
Using Bubbles or Pinwheels to assist with deep breathing: for younger children or children with less developed verbal skills
* If your child has lost consciousness during prior blood draws, check with your physician before using deep breathing or muscle tensing with your child.