By Vanessa Rasmussen, © 2004, All rights reserved.

Most of the time, taking a history and performing a physical examination provide the information a doctor needs to assess how a child is doing or to comprehend the root of an illness. As informative as the history and examination can be, sometimes more information is needed to fully understand what's going on. Although most are rarely needed, there are literally hundreds of laboratory tests and other studies that can be ordered. Many times the right test will help a doctor make a diagnosis or eliminate a possibility.

Routine testing for children is not done as often as it is done for adults. However, when children do need to undergo medical tests, they need love and support of their parents or other caretakers to help them through the physical pain or discomfort as well as any fear, anxiety or emotional reactions that may occur as the test is undertaken. Helping your young child prepare for a medical test or procedure can reduce anxiety, increase cooperation, and help develop coping skills.

Following are some tips on helping your child deal with medical/laboratory tests:

Copyright 2001, 2004. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of this article in whole or in part without written or verbal permission is strictly prohibited. For information about reprinting this article, contact the copyright owner: Vanessa Rasmussen, Ph.D, Starting a Day Care Center,