How to Prepare Your Child For Covid-19 Testing

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With the alarming increase of cases in several states across Malaysia, it is not uncommon to hear of whole families being called in to be tested for COVID-19. Generally, adult individuals are far more prepared to deal with the uncomfortable “nasal swabs” or throat swabs during the test. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same for young ones who end up having to do the tests as well.

Children, especially the young ones, will not understand the need to undergo these tests. There are long waits in some of the designated centres, and unless you have experienced it for yourselves, there is no real way for you to know. Still, it is essential to prepare our children so that they know what to expect. Below are some ways you can prepare your children for COVID-19 testing and hopefully reduce those tears.

1. Explain using child-friendly information

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It is typical of Malaysian parents to think that it is better not to tell their children about any upcoming medical procedure lest they become even more nervous. We tend to live by the motto: the less they know, the better. However, we need to remember that children have vivid imaginations. When they do not have the right information to fill in the missing details, sometimes they can start imagining things that are far worse or scarier than they really are. Therefore it is actually a good thing to give them a rough scenario of what to expect. Use age-appropriate words when describing the procedures as if you were reading to them a story. Do not leave out important details about where they will go, who they will meet, a rough estimate of how long it will take, what will happen and how it might feel.

Stick to the facts, and use neutral language. You can give examples of other children who have taken the test, who say that it feels like using a nasal spray. For some, it might feel uncomfortable for a bit, while others say it doesn’t really bother them at all. If you require a short video created just for children to explain the process, Mayo Clinic has one on YouTube that you can use, which will explain everything.

2. Have a coping plan ready

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Know your role in helping your children to remain calm and comforted. Younger children may fuss and feel restless during long waits so be sure to pack some food, snacks, a book or some toys to buy you some time. 

Naturally you will be their source of comfort, the one they would turn to for reassurance, but some children might also find comfort in a favourite stuffed toy, for example, or want to be held a certain way so that they can feel secure. These little details may seem small and insignificant to you. But to your child if can mean the world. 

Older children and teenagers might have a better idea of what would help them feel better. Still, you can offer words of encouragement because some of them might still need your support, despite their external bravado.

3. Use distractions

M84EEvEN9U5GFZV2JwnlHDy3DxztqzjUsE4rZjb3EL96B92EmJ6F3lpaxzI0m8gYeufcOxkQy0ut8yyBFA5trMDU ulRGLK8BF4pEhopTD2PcScV3Uz7N3mnA5rOKKGYD2dgPIWmh8vFlMk4dGijolvQeQcD3CGU6fdjyvWRlgYOQD7sKBybdRj4LA

It is very likely that when your are doing the test, both you and your child would be waiting in the car or in the waiting area. There is no telling how long the wait may be and this can lead to boredom, frustration and increased anxiety about what is about to happen. 

While waiting, use this time to distract your child and get them to do something fun or interactive. Have a car sing-a-long with their favourite playlist or play a short game of I-Spy. If you’ve brought along a device, allow them to play educational games or watch a short video. If you are going to be in the waiting area then make sure to pack with you some earphones. That way, whatever your child might be playing or watching will not be distracting to others.

In the event that you are going in to be tested as a family, let the child who is most clam go first. Or you can always go first so that you can play role model and show them just how easy and quick the test actually is.

4. Find a position that is comforting but not restraining

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There’s really no reason to restrain your child during the swab test. Instead, hold them so that they feel safe and calm during the procedure. If you are doing the test at a drive-through, a younger child might prefer to be on your lap. You can also sit beside older children with your arm wrapped around them. 

If you are at a testing centre, you can place younger children on your lap either facing sideways or facing forwards. Make sure that both of you are comfortable and seated in a way that will not obstruct the frontliners from doing the swab test efficiently.

To ease stranger anxiet, parents can help to gently hold their child’s forehead backwards to keep their head still during the swab test. Remember to offer encouraging words and focus on keeping them calm. You can also offer physical comfort to your older children by sitting beside them and placing your hand on their shoulders or leg when it is their turn to take the swab test.

5. Give simple instructions with a calm voice

If you already know when your family needs to go for covid-19 testing, then start practicing, leading to the actual test itself, by role playing. When it is time for the swab, tell your child to look up, take deep breaths through their mouth, close their eyes and count to 20. By teaching your child to breathe through their mouth, this helps them to stay still and more relaxed during the swab. 

It would be great if both of you can count together since this gives your child something to do so that they can distract themself from the task at hand. If your child is too nervous or is unable to count, you can count for them so that he or she is focused on your voice and has a sense of when the process will end.

6. Lastly, praise your child for a job well done.

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You want to help them to remember that the test was a positive experience, since there is a high chance for repeat tests. Reiterate what they did well and shower them with praises. Arm yourselves with the right information because your little ones will have plenty of questions. 

Most of the time children worry themselves sick thinking that they must have the virus if they are getting tested for COVID-19. Assure them that this isn’t necessarily true. Taking the test also helps to eliminate the possibility if they are not infected. Explain that there’s probably other children who are as brave as them, half way across the world taking the same test. Covid-19 has affected us all over the world and by doing the test, we’re all doing our parts to get this virus under control

How to Prepare Your Child For Covid-19 Testing

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With the alarming increase of cases in several states across Malaysia, it is not uncommon to hear of whole families being called in to be tested for COVID-19. Generally, adult individuals are far more prepared to deal with the uncomfortable “nasal swabs” or throat swabs during the test. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same for young ones who end up having to do the tests as well.

Children, especially the young ones, will not understand the need to undergo these tests. There are long waits in some of the designated centres, and unless you have experienced it for yourselves, there is no real way for you to know. Still, it is essential to prepare our children so that they know what to expect. Below are some ways you can prepare your children for COVID-19 testing and hopefully reduce those tears.

1. Explain using child-friendly information

IG6lErdKSqd 62WugDC p3TnIkIYBC0vwYFYFpnZtLCJbMCnEM64WNlWQYCqmD3 L1XquFmCUMMCt5plu7NsW2EcL 8XS dC9K2b22clIccnw49yk CPUBE0T nMTZlguBe2k50lzLRbCOUI3mnZ7f1gSnocdxnJJTbrURF6S eOdA0YDl0yRmDj

It is typical of Malaysian parents to think that it is better not to tell their children about any upcoming medical procedure lest they become even more nervous. We tend to live by the motto: the less they know, the better. However, we need to remember that children have vivid imaginations. When they do not have the right information to fill in the missing details, sometimes they can start imagining things that are far worse or scarier than they really are. Therefore it is actually a good thing to give them a rough scenario of what to expect. Use age-appropriate words when describing the procedures as if you were reading to them a story. Do not leave out important details about where they will go, who they will meet, a rough estimate of how long it will take, what will happen and how it might feel.

Stick to the facts, and use neutral language. You can give examples of other children who have taken the test, who say that it feels like using a nasal spray. For some, it might feel uncomfortable for a bit, while others say it doesn’t really bother them at all. If you require a short video created just for children to explain the process, Mayo Clinic has one on YouTube that you can use, which will explain everything.

2. Have a coping plan ready

ZNYnvxY7ZSoAAT Xsz cDDtYc 6 mliDX RqOr Z7jp9CIyLbop4O52onohcH6LI3c3gfWTohFT4XOG3sBKzXXHWSfXOuOU8 v4tqUMU6kFdbwXD71BmctP cwk9IFGLMN G5YaNICk4Rjf z

Know your role in helping your children to remain calm and comforted. Younger children may fuss and feel restless during long waits so be sure to pack some food, snacks, a book or some toys to buy you some time. 

Naturally you will be their source of comfort, the one they would turn to for reassurance, but some children might also find comfort in a favourite stuffed toy, for example, or want to be held a certain way so that they can feel secure. These little details may seem small and insignificant to you. But to your child if can mean the world. 

Older children and teenagers might have a better idea of what would help them feel better. Still, you can offer words of encouragement because some of them might still need your support, despite their external bravado.

3. Use distractions

M84EEvEN9U5GFZV2JwnlHDy3DxztqzjUsE4rZjb3EL96B92EmJ6F3lpaxzI0m8gYeufcOxkQy0ut8yyBFA5trMDU ulRGLK8BF4pEhopTD2PcScV3Uz7N3mnA5rOKKGYD2dgPIWmh8vFlMk4dGijolvQeQcD3CGU6fdjyvWRlgYOQD7sKBybdRj4LA

It is very likely that when your are doing the test, both you and your child would be waiting in the car or in the waiting area. There is no telling how long the wait may be and this can lead to boredom, frustration and increased anxiety about what is about to happen. 

While waiting, use this time to distract your child and get them to do something fun or interactive. Have a car sing-a-long with their favourite playlist or play a short game of I-Spy. If you’ve brought along a device, allow them to play educational games or watch a short video. If you are going to be in the waiting area then make sure to pack with you some earphones. That way, whatever your child might be playing or watching will not be distracting to others.

In the event that you are going in to be tested as a family, let the child who is most clam go first. Or you can always go first so that you can play role model and show them just how easy and quick the test actually is.

4. Find a position that is comforting but not restraining

nDeOZMSdvcIcC6a5b25Vjqjjh tusRyBLYBhEHh 6 LUkWBCWyiU9gadiszYxJKOmMRyC1mJNV4HewgnRkPhRPyV UNnutCOJhzCM32GilnpYlk2eHQ N9Lm PVD8qIeLX1zbZoet4aPvpRKZXbN2tM

There’s really no reason to restrain your child during the swab test. Instead, hold them so that they feel safe and calm during the procedure. If you are doing the test at a drive-through, a younger child might prefer to be on your lap. You can also sit beside older children with your arm wrapped around them. 

If you are at a testing centre, you can place younger children on your lap either facing sideways or facing forwards. Make sure that both of you are comfortable and seated in a way that will not obstruct the frontliners from doing the swab test efficiently.

To ease stranger anxiet, parents can help to gently hold their child’s forehead backwards to keep their head still during the swab test. Remember to offer encouraging words and focus on keeping them calm. You can also offer physical comfort to your older children by sitting beside them and placing your hand on their shoulders or leg when it is their turn to take the swab test.

5. Give simple instructions with a calm voice

If you already know when your family needs to go for covid-19 testing, then start practicing, leading to the actual test itself, by role playing. When it is time for the swab, tell your child to look up, take deep breaths through their mouth, close their eyes and count to 20. By teaching your child to breathe through their mouth, this helps them to stay still and more relaxed during the swab. 

It would be great if both of you can count together since this gives your child something to do so that they can distract themself from the task at hand. If your child is too nervous or is unable to count, you can count for them so that he or she is focused on your voice and has a sense of when the process will end.

6. Lastly, praise your child for a job well done.

JmjhCdWNHCCS2Vvr4mJXJh3zW5JG2LryyVN44 d t1t7tI2jehJZash3UZe4hcy5kmIJrg

You want to help them to remember that the test was a positive experience, since there is a high chance for repeat tests. Reiterate what they did well and shower them with praises. Arm yourselves with the right information because your little ones will have plenty of questions. 

Most of the time children worry themselves sick thinking that they must have the virus if they are getting tested for COVID-19. Assure them that this isn’t necessarily true. Taking the test also helps to eliminate the possibility if they are not infected. Explain that there’s probably other children who are as brave as them, half way across the world taking the same test. Covid-19 has affected us all over the world and by doing the test, we’re all doing our parts to get this virus under control.

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