Parents and caregivers play an important role in helping children feel comfortable with medical care. When possible, sharing age-appropriate information with children before a medical appointment can help ease their fear and anxiety.
To help children prepare for a visit with their health care team, it is important that parents and caregivers understand the reason for the visit and what tests or procedures are likely to occur. Child life specialists, who are trained in child development, can help guide families and minimize the stress of the medical environment for children and teens.
“We want to make sure kids feel empowered,” explains Jennifer Rodemeyer, manager of Child Life at Mayo Clinic Children’s Center. “We’re open and honest with them so they know what they are about to experience.”
On this Ask the Mayo Mom edition of the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, host Angela Mattke is joined by Jennifer Rodemeyer and Tara Lodermeier, also a child life specialist at Mayo Clinic’s Children’s Center, to discuss helping children cope with medical experiences.
Angela C. Mattke, M.D.
Dr. Mattke is the medical editor of Mayo Clinic Guide to Raising a Healthy Child and a pediatrician in the Division of Community Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at Mayo Clinic Children’s Center in Rochester, Minnesota.
Jennifer Rodemeyer, M.A. CCLS
Jennifer K. Rodemeyer is the manager of the Child Life Program at Mayo Clinic Children’s Center. She is an instructor in pediatrics at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science for the Child Life Internship and Child Life Practicum.
Tara Lodermeier, CCLS
Tara Lodermeier is a child life specialist at Mayo Clinic’s Children’s Center in Rochester, Minnesota.