How can I talk to my child about having blood work done?

Talk to your child about having blood work done by explaining that blood work is taking a sample of your child's blood and testing it. Tell your child that the blood test is done so the doctor can find out what is going on inside your child's body. One way to do this is by checking blood. You can explain the details about blood work by telling your child the following:
  • The phlebotomist (person taking your blood) is going to come in to your room with a cart.
  • He or she will start by putting a rubber band around your arm, called a tourniquet. It will feel tight like a big squeeze or a hug.
  • Then, the phlebotomist will clean your arm with an alcohol swab. This will feel cold and wet and may smell strong.
  • Then the phlebotomist will gently slide a small needle under your skin and into your vein to take a sample of blood out. This is called a blood draw, and it will be a small ouch but it is very quick.
  • You may hear someone call this a butterfly needle but it is not a real butterfly; it just looks like one.
  • After the phlebotomist gets enough of a sample, he or she will gently pull out the small needle and put pressure on your arm.
  • It is okay for you to have a little bit of blood removed. Your body makes new blood all the time.
  • After the blood draw is over, the phlebotomist will put gauze over the spot where they took the blood and tape it or put a bandaid over it.
  • You may have to have a blood draw several times while you are at the hospital, but it is very quick and hurts very little.
This content originally appeared on the Alliance for Kids website.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.