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Explaining a Blood Draw to Your Child

You need to have your blood checked today. This is called a “blood draw” or “lab draw”. Checking your blood gives the doctors and nurses important information about how your body is doing.

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Numbing options


At Children’s Mercy, we often use a J-tip or numbing cream to numb your skin before you have your blood draw. When your skin is numb, you will not feel the blood draw as much.

J-tip sprays numbing medicine under your skin. It makes a noise when it sprays. Some kids say it sounds like opening a soda can. 

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Numbing cream sits on your skin for 20-30 minutes and feels like lotion. We use a clear bandage to help the cream stay in place. Sometimes, your family member may put numbing cream on you at home or before you come for your visit.

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Steps for getting a blood draw

  1. The nurse will look at your blue lines, called veins.  They will wrap a rubber band called a tourniquet tightly around your arm to see your veins better.

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  2. Next, they will clean your skin with an alcohol wipe. It is a small cloth and feels cold and wet on your skin.

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  3. Then, they will do a small poke with a needle to get a little blood out into a tube. Your body does not need the blood that is taken out. You have a lot of blood in your body and your body will make new blood quickly.

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  4. When they have enough blood, they will slide out the needle.

  5. Then you will get an adhesive bandage.

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Things that can help when you get a blood draw

  • Take slow, deep breaths.
  • Hold someone’s hand.
  • Squeeze a ball.
  • Choose to watch or look at something else, like a book or tablet.

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What do you want to do? You can make a plan and practice!