Tricks to get kids to cooperate with treatment

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    What tricks do you use to get kids to cooperate with treatment? I'm not a nurse (yet) but I am a mom of five and I know how hard it is just to get my own kids to go along with it when they need to take medication, wound care and even everyday personal hygiene and grooming.
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    Get the parents on your side, do it to the parent first if it'll help (this is easier with, say, listening to breath sounds than putting in stitches!) and the blood pressure cuff is always "the arm hug."
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    I'm not a nurse yet, but when my son was in the hospital (for pneumonia) the nurse would have him "help" or let him be her nurse. He would listen to her "heart", check her mouth, take her temp. etc.

    HE was only 10 months old but he loved it and would be more willing to let her check him out. I think that kids love to help and know what this or that is for. When it came to his breathing treatments, he would "help" hold the nebulizer.

    The nurse said that little kids love to help her and are more willing to cooperate if they feel like they are helping.

    JMO
    Erin
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    I always use distraction also, along with letting them assit whenever possible.
    I get a banter going with the child. Ask about their dog, siblings, school, favorite activities etc. Many times even with things like lab, IV, and sutures a little distraction can go a long way.
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    ALWAYS let them help....or give them a "job". Sometimes (if I am starting a line or something else that hurts) I give them the "job" of holding their arm, hand etc still. I tell them they can't hurt me, but they can yell or whatever else. The majority of the time they will scream or wiggle their other arm but keep the arm I need PERFECTLY still. Also...bubbles work WONDERS (especially the edible kind)!! A lot of times if you "time" how fast they take their meds it works really well too. I just explain explain explain and get their help as best I can.
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    to the op: have you started your peds rotation yet or will you be starting it soon?

    heres my tips:

    make sure to get down to their level and to explain things in words they will understand.

    blood pressures are always hugging arms, or checking how big muscles are.

    iv's are silly straws that are giving their hand a drink
    (normally what i tell kids after tonsils out since they are too sore to drink po)

    always carry some special bandaids, its amazing how a bandaid of spiderman or pooh bear makes everything better.

    as another poster mentioned, its *great* to let kids help out. i usually would bring in an extra stethoscope when i worked hospital and let the kids listen to me while i listened to them. great distraction.

    just a few off the top of my head...

    -meghan
    JKindRN and angiebelle like this.
  9. 4
    A trick I like to use for listening to breath sounds is holding up a pen light (with stethoscope on back) and asking the child to blow out the light! It works like a charm!!
    mousesn
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    I actually was looking for ideas for my own kids! My 3yo is sick now and absolutely refusing to take tylenol. And the MD had such a hard time today getting him to open his mouth for a throat culture. He is just not cooperating at all. Sigh. The good news is it's viral so this will clear up on its own.
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    Quote from ChayaN
    I actually was looking for ideas for my own kids! My 3yo is sick now and absolutely refusing to take tylenol. And the MD had such a hard time today getting him to open his mouth for a throat culture. He is just not cooperating at all. Sigh. The good news is it's viral so this will clear up on its own.
    ChayaN

    - get an oral syringe so he can squirt the medication in his mouth.

    -give him a ice pop before and after to numb his tongue, then give the med, and finish up with the rest of the ice pop.

    To open his mouth, play a game with him. Who can open the mouth the biggest? Who can keep their mouth open the longest? Who has the biggest tonsils- gotta say 'ahhhh' to see them!'
    JKindRN likes this.
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    Thanks for the ideas, Meghan! I'll try them and let you know how it went.


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