Involving children in their healthcare

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Children with health issues require many adjustments to their daily life. Many of these adjustments induce a sense of ‘losing control’ as procedures are done to them rather than with them. This can lead to high levels of stress and children may express feelings of fear, anger and frustration.

Consequently, health experts are recognising the value of having children actively participate in their care, rather than passively receiving care. The result of this approach is that children feel valued, respected and empowered.

Children who face an ongoing battle with dry, itchy skin are often subject to time-consuming, complex and sometimes unpleasant skin care routines. Heidi Darcy, Clinical Advisor at Comvita shares some creative and fun ways to involve children in their skincare routines.

  • To effectively hydrate dry skin, Medihoney® Natural Derma Cream often needs to be put on up to three times a day. Make it fun by giving your child a clean paint brush and letting them paint the cream on the dry, itchy areas. They can draw shapes, letters and pictures. Let them be as creative as they like.
  • Give them choices whenever possible and whenever appropriate. Only offer choices where the children are genuinely free to choose. For example let them decide whether they will put their cream on their arm or leg first.
  • Let your children help set up their creams in the order they will be applied. Under your supervision, allow them to touch the bottles or squirt the cream out onto your hand. Children who have the opportunity to become familiar with their health resources have less anxiety and fear.
  • Re-label your creams or wash products with names that will appeal to your child’s interest and developmental age. Add stickers, glitter and anything that will make it more fun for them. In our house, the Medihoney® Natural Soap Free Wash was given a glittery revamp and relabelled ‘Butterfly Bath Balm’. The Medihoney® Natural Derma Cream was relabelled ‘Dinosaur drool’ complete with 3D stickers.

Empowering children to cope with life’s journey takes creativity and patience. If your child faces a heath issue, be inspired to find new ways to empower your child. Share your learning with other parents, so that together, we can build a stronger community.

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