Building a Coping Kit
Building a Coping Kit
Katie Taylor, CCLS Child Life On Call for SmileMakers Inc.
Be Prepared, Don’t Be Scared
Doctor visits, dental cleanings and specialty visits can be a routine part of any child’s health needs. Whether it is as minimal as a yearly physical or more complex like visiting a specialist on a regular basis, there is a formula for supporting your child when visiting the doctor. First, prepare your child for what to expect by looking up the doctor’s picture, talking about what may happen, and coming up with a plan to ensure your child can cope as best as they can. Along with that verbal and visual preparation is the option of preparing a coping kit. A coping kit will look different for every child based on what will be most helpful for them to release their stress, distract their focus during difficult tests and calm their bodies.
Build a Coping Kit
SmileMakers makes it easy to build a coping kit with a variety of themes, interests and activities. Take a look at this “recipe” for a coping kit to determine what is best for your child.A stress ball is a go-to for a coping kit. Children can release their stress and tension by squeezing the ball, pulling at the fringes and playing an easy game of catch while waiting during appointments. Popper toys are incredibly popular with children these days. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and characters to suit almost every need. One of my favorites is a popper bracelet which can easily be worn throughout an appointment, meaning it is close to the child at times when they need a way to keep their hands busy. This can be especially helpful when a child needs to remain in a certain position or keep very still.
Stickers are another way to keep little hands busy during a visit. Restickable stickers are bright and fun, and they can be used (and re-used!) in so many ways. They can be stuck on a folder or paper during a visit. They can be stuck on a water bottle or cup from the vending machine. Your child may even want to pick a special sticker for each of their healthcare providers during their visit. These are small items with high impact and engagement for children
Putting it All Together
Once you have chosen all your items, having a friendly bag to carry it all will help your child feel confident and prepared for their visit. Building a coping kit with your child offers them the opportunity to make choices about how they want to play and cope during their visit, empowers them to make choices about the items that will help them cope and creates a space for parent and child to talk about what to expect and how to use the items during the visit.
Go to www.SmileMakers.com and check out their wide selection of stress balls, fidgets, stickers and so much more to help you build an incredible coping kit.