Reports of the nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal tests are a must in the current pandemic-ridden world for travels outside the state or country or for permission to attend events expecting people from different regions. Currently, schools are also reopening in a phased manner and as a result many children have to get tested (since vaccines are not available for children under 12) so that they can start getting back to normalcy.
Reopening of daycare centers for toddlers is also underway and to attend those babies have to be tested for the presence of the coronavirus. Young children are generally fussy in nature and making them get tested is a task in itself and can cause stress to the child as well as its parents. Thus, it is necessary for parents to calm them and encourage them before, during and after the procedure so that their fussiness is at bay and they do not accidentally hurt themselves while being tested.
The following tips have been suggested by child psychologists to help children get tested with comparative ease:
- Rather than withholding information from kids, proper explanation should be given to them in a way that they can easily understand prior to the test so that the panic in the kids during the procedure is somewhat alleviated.
- Coping mechanisms can be followed by the parents to calm their child before their test. Generally, staying calm while waiting for their turn can help in boosting confidence of the child.
- At any testing center, waiting in line is an inevitable step before the swab is taken. During this time children can be distracted with recreational activities and music to keep them from becoming fussy.
- If the whole family goes together for getting tested then the parent or any elder sibling can go first and show the child that there is nothing difficult about the test.
- Children can be held (not restrained) in comfortable positions when the swab is being taken; toddlers can either sit leaning their backs or sides on their parents’ body. This might bring a calming effect on the child and help ease testing.
- The child’s forehead can be gently held while the swab is being taken to keep their head still.
- Gently directing the child to take calming breaths and close their eyes can help in relaxing them during sample collection.
- After the test, telling the child that they did well during the procedure can fill them with a sense of accomplishment and help evade fearful thoughts from their mind in case they have to get tested again.
- Rewarding kids with treats after sample collection can also influence the mindset of the child in a positive manner.