It's funny to see just by their replies who and who does not have children. I read the article and well I'm sorry but I'm not impressed. It has been my experience that children can see right past any and all BS. So If I'm in the projects and If I ask my patient who his hero is and he tells me "The guy in my building who sells the rocks and has all that money" am I supposed to pull a crack pipe out of my pedi bag? If I'm lying then I buying everyone a beer.
Gadgets and gizmos dont work. What has worked for me is honesty , telling them that I am going to make them feel better. I am that hero. Never , never ever lie to a kid. Tell them that it's going to hurt but it will go away. Never scream at anyone. Always be calm toward the whole family and explain everything you do. Flashlights and stethescopes make great props for doing your job. How many glove balloons have you ever made?
Being a father and having worked over 17 years in the Pedi Section of Level II Trauma Centers, I do appreciate the humorous suggestions posted for calming the pedi patients. Funny is funny.
I had an 'adult' trauma nurse say to me once, "Ah, pediatrics, one step above veterinarian medicine." My response was, "Yes it is similar. Not only do we have to know how the adult responds to trauma, we have to know how every age group of kids respond to trauma. Not only do we have one patient at a time, we have at least two....the child and the parent."
I agree with v-fibber's comments about being honest with the child and add to that being honest with the parent(s). Your interaction with the pedi patient must be geared towards the age of the child. This is why all pedi courses include sections on psychophysiological and developmental changes of the child. And just as our adult patients don't read our textbooks and know how they are always suppose to present with and illness or injury, kids are similar. Each child is a unique individual reacting to the stressors of the event they are experiencing. And at different ages their understanding and abilities to coop are different.
I found my years working with children an amazing experience.