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Ways to Support Your Child

You are your child’s best advocate! The child life specialists at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center want to empower you to be involved in your child’s healthcare experience. Sometimes it is hard to know how to support your child in the hospital environment.

These are some interventions to advocate for and helpful tips to utilize during you and your child’s visit:

Positioning for Comfort:

Comfort positions are a positive way that you as caregivers can participate in your infant or child’s procedure. A comfort hold provides your child a sense of assurance, control, security, and comfort. This technique of holding your child close to you creates a safe environment that encourages your child to feel comfortable, hold still, and be more likely to cooperate.

Comfort holds can be utilized during:
• IV starts
• Port accesses
• Dressing changes
• Stitches/staples
• Blood draws
• NG placements
• IM Injections

Examples of comfort holds that may be effective for you and your child:

Back to Chest
Back to chest demonstration photo
Chest to Chest
Chest to chest demonstration photo
Cradle Hold
Cradle hold photo

Pain Management

Children’s Hospital & Medical Center strives to make your child’s visit as comfortable as possible. There are numerous pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions available to manage your child’s pain. Be sure to ask your medical team if one of these would be appropriate for your child. 


The ONE VOICE campaign is an initiative that was designed in 1996 by an RN and CCLS at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center. The purpose is to create a calm, less threatening environment during procedures for your child. Multiple people talking can be loud, overwhelming, and make it difficult for your child to know who to listen to and trust. With ONE VOICE your child will know who to focus on whether it is you, a child life specialist, nurse, or someone else involved in the procedure. 

Each letter of ONE VOICE stands for a component of the environment that we need to remember.

One Voice should be heard during the procedure
Need for parental involvement
Educate the patient before the procedure about what is going to happen
Validate a child with your words
Offer the most comfortable, non-threatening position
Individualize your game plan
Choose appropriate distraction
Eliminate unnecessary staff who are not actively involved with the procedure


Providing education prior to your child’s hospital visit helps foster positive and healthy coping.  The following resources are available to help you prepare your child for their procedure before coming to the hospital.
• Intravenous (IV) Placement
• CT
• Nuclear Medicine Study
• Nuclear Medicine Study with Nitrous Oxide
• Voiding Cystourethrogram (VCUG)
• Voiding Cystourethrogram (VCUG) with Nitrous Oxide
• Water Soluble Enema
(links open as PDFs)

All children may react differently to hospitalization; here is a link to typical developmental reactions to hospitalization (PDF).

Helpful Tips

• Be honest with your child
• Be positive, calm, and encouraging to your child
• Listen to your child’s needs
• Answer your child’s questions
• Prepare your child for what to expect in developmentally appropriate terms
• Praise your child for positive behavior and coping
• Let staff know what will benefit your child