Positions for Comfort are exactly like they sound… positions that can help comfort a child during a stressful procedure or medical event such as vaccinations,
a doctor’s exam, or dentist appointment.
The goal is to help achieve stillness while not increasing the child’s stress. Positions for comfort allow for several benefits including offering a secure position that increases immobilization of an extremity or the whole body. Positions for comfort also allow for close contact with a parent or caregiver while also decreasing the number of additional staff necessary to hold the child to complete a procedure.
Children often feel increasingly more vulnerable in a medical setting or foreign setting when they are also laid flat on their back and restrained against a table for medical procedures or events. Positions for comfort also offer a variety of ways that a child can remain sitting during a procedure and medical event, while also accessible to medical staff, therefore increasing their sense of self-control. A comfort position also situates a child well for engaging in distraction during a medical procedure or event which can also increase coping and compliance.
Children's Mercy Hospital and Children's Comfort Promise Comfort Position Guide are both great visual guides to various positions for comfort that can be successful for an array of procedures and needs. These tools can be utilized to educate both parents as well as medical providers on both the different positions for comfort as well as the benefits for the child’s coping.
Partnering with a healthcare provider and parent prior to the medical event occurring to create a plan of action for utilizing a comfort position can help increase the success of the technique. Parents and caregivers should be aware that children may still become upset during the medical procedure or event even when utilizing a comfort position however, the close contact with a loved can decrease the trauma of the event even if there are tears involved.
Please comment on how positioning has help your children or you in your practice.