Helping Kids Learn About Their Body: “Blood Soup” Spotlight and Giveaway

Child life specialists incorporate play, art, and books to teach kids about their bodies. Many specialists have used an activity called, blood soup to educate and empower kids about their cancer treatment. I was excited to find out that a fellow child life specialist created a storybook to go along with this activity.

Guest Blogger, Jessica Wilfore, CCLS, Author of Blood Soup 

Blood Soup is a dynamic and hands-on educational experience for all children! Readers will be engaged from start to finish, learning of the four components of blood and the reasoning behind a blood draw. Blood Soup empowers children to know more about their bodies and helps take the fear out of blood.

Where to Purchase

Blood Soup is available for purchase at Lulu.com.

About the Author

Jessica Wilfore, MS-Ed, CCLS is a Certified Child Life Specialist, educator, and mother who has worked in the hospital setting for several years helping children understand procedures and diagnosis in a developmentally appropriate manner.  She believes that the more children know, the better they can respond. She encourages the use of this book for all children but specifically for those with an upcoming blood draw or new diagnosis (cancer, diabetes, bleeding disorders).

We will be giving away a copy of “Blood Soup” to one lucky winner.

Choose one or more ways to enter:

  1. Sign up for email notifications at ChildLifeMommy.com and leave a comment below.
  2. Facebook: Follow Child Life Mommy and tag a friend
  3. Facebook: Follow Blood Soup Book
  4. Instagram: Follow @ChildLifeMommy and tag two friends in the post.
  5. Twitter: Follow, Like, and RT the post to @ChildLifeMommy

Good luck, the winner will be chosen by 4/15/21. Open to U.S. and Canada residents.

Tips to Support a Child Receiving Stitches

The first set of stitches is in the books for my little guy, Blake.  After I tossed him in a pond our giant lab, Tank leaped right on top of him. His paw hit Blake’s face and punctured his lip. Both of my kids freaked out. I mean full on tears and a hard time breathing. Blake went limp like a ragdoll, puked before we got him in the car, and then fell asleep from exhaustion. He was at a level 10 for anxiety. We had a 2-hour drive to urgent care, so it gave us time to regroup and calm down.

Here is what we did to make the situation go from high anxiety with pain and trauma to a successful procedure.
  1. I stayed calm. I lowered my voice, made good eye contact, and reminded him that this was my job.
  2. I prepared him for what he would experience. I gave him lots of details and cleared up misconceptions.
    I talked about his job of keeping his body still and breathing. I explained that stitches are string bandaids and that the doctor will numb the area so that he wouldn’t feel it.
  3. I validated his emotions and provided reassurance. “You are so scared right now. I will be there to help you.”
  4. Advocacy. This was a big one for me. I advocated for topical numbing cream which the doctor was hesitant on but then agreed. I knew it would decrease the pain from the lidocaine injection.
  5. Comfort hold. There was a papoose board in the trauma room and B asked what it was. Every meme that The iPad Lady has posted went through my head. There was no way they were going to use that. He was able to lay directly on my chest in a position for comfort.
  6. Distraction. I held up my phone so B could watch a movie during the procedure.
  7. Choices. I gave him as many choices as I could.
  8.  ONE VOICE. When he was getting the stitches it was just the doctor and us, no other team members. Everyone was super calm, the doctor would talk to him about what he was doing before he did it.
  9.  Procedural Support. I named things that he was doing great on, slow deep breaths & keeping his body still.
  10.  Bravery Reward. Yes, he got ice cream and chose a small toy for being so brave.

Highlights: The doctor said,” Good idea Mom on the numbing cream.” ❤️

You can continue to help kids process their experiences and feel empowerment when you ask them to share their stories. It could be done through medical play, art, journaling, or verbaling telling you.

 

Related Articles:

Medical Play 

5 Tips to Help Your Child at The Doctor 

How to Pack an Emergency Go Bag

Helping Children Cope with a Blood Test

Painful medical procedures are difficult to cope with. As a Certified Child Life Specialist, my role is to prepare children for new experiences while providing a coping plan. I had the opportunity to support my own son for a routine blood test this week. He was quite nervous when his pediatrician mentioned it and I could see his signs of distress. I decided to use some child life techniques to help educate and prepare him while providing validation, and a coping plan.

Read more