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Kids, body autonomy and medical treatment


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#51 frazzle

Posted 29 August 2019 - 04:30 PM

True phobia and deep set fear - you need to work with sedatives. And take time. My daughter needs bloods every 3-6 months because of thyroid issues. After scaring nearly every blood clinic in the region I asked the outpatient nurses if we could do it there. We use gas, it's in a very calm environment, LEGO bribes etc. It's taken 2 years (she is now 12) but she recently went in for a flu shot with her Dad, all she needed to do was hold the mask over her face at the GP (there was no gas!) and did some deep breathes and it was done! Bursting with pride for her.
My eldest - tore open her knee, country road, lots of dirt, gravel and germs, into hospital for stitches, Valium and gas didn't even touch the sides. Ended up having to sign for Ketamine (as I lay on top of her). She and I talked it over afterwards, and even though she is still fearful we are getting there. She doesn't hate me, she knew it needed to be done. But I did have to be really forceful with the Dr as he was ready to say if she doesn't want it, I can't force it. I also pulled the mum card and said not on my watch!!!

#52 amdirel

Posted 29 August 2019 - 04:41 PM

Thankfully we're a bit of a science loving family, and no needle phobias, so with optional vaccines like the flu, I explain to them why they need it and how it works, and they happily go and get it done as they think it's fascinating and a genius invention.

In terms of other things, it depends on why it's needed and the consequences of them refusing. For eg I can think of three occasions where my kids needed examination by doctor of their genitals; all three times they refused, two of those could have had serious consequences so I had to overrule their decision. I didn't have to physically force them but I just had to firmly explain it was going to happen, and tell them that "now the doctor is going to do xyz". The other occasion it was not a necessity so I allowed child to refuse; the doctor looked at me incredulously but I explained it is her right to refuse if she is uncomfortable, and discussed alternative observations. DD also asked me afterwards if I was upset she refused, so we had a good chat about rights and consent, but also the potential risks of not allowing a proper examination. But that is easier to do of course if they're older and able to rationalise and make sensible decisions.

I also had a thread last week about my DD refusing medication; she is a teenager so like PP have said, you can't really force them at that age. But she does understand the risks of not taking her meds, and all I can do is have them available for when she randomly decides to take them, and also offer her every so often that we can see xyz health professionals if she decides to.

#53 qak

Posted 29 August 2019 - 04:59 PM

My kids were never compliant when it came to medicines.
For the first couple of years it was a 2-adult job to hold them down and 'make' them swallow ... I have had stuff spat back out at me! Jelly bean bribery worked to some extent.

When we had to have travel vaxes done, DS was OK, DD ... wasn't! She was about 9.5 and cried, kicked and carried on. It was awful!

A year later, it came to the flu-vax earlier this year, they were both asking to have it done! And both were great. I'm guessing that their schools had done some background education, maybe around the child(/ren?) that died early in the year.

I don't think I could 'force' them to do it, they are not that much smaller than me. There comes a point where they just need to have the understanding that it is for their own benefit (as well as others, in the case of vaccinations).

#54 iwanttosleepin

Posted 29 August 2019 - 07:23 PM

I am a strong believer in body autonomy for teens.

My biggest issue on consent is around the topic of orthodontics.  There is great myth out there that a huge percentage of kids need braces.  When actually - yes their teeth are ugly but orthodontics is in the majority of cases cosmetic.

I have a 10 nearly 11 year old with the most crooked teeth you've seen.  They are a right mess with one tooth stuck up in the roof of his mouth.  But I will leave the decision to straighten them to him.  If he decides he want them done I will support that - but if he doesn't - so be it.  He has his whole life to change his mind.  

If my 14 year old refused to be vaccinated I would respect that decision.  I am going to get him his own medicare card and leave the decisions to him.  I will support him and provide information but it is his body.

#55 Daffy2016

Posted 29 August 2019 - 07:49 PM

DD is only two, but I try to be understanding while still pulling the Mum card. Having said that, she is a complete nightmare with oral medications. Even from a few months she would vomit out panadol. She now has suppositories, but recently had to have antibiotics and it was awful. I went through a whole bottle of the stuff, tears, screams, pinning her down - and never managed to get anything down her throat.

Any tips very welcome... can’t wait until she’s old enough for tablets.

#56 blimkybill

Posted 29 August 2019 - 07:57 PM

 Soontobegran, on 29 August 2019 - 11:42 AM, said:

It would have been non negotiable here too. If they wanted to live in our home they would need to be vaccinated...just as it was non negotiable we have our pertussis vaccinations when we were having grand children. ( we would have anyway).

I admit to be totally immune to being concerned about the tantrums of a child. I happily restrain or do whatever is necessary.
Would you restrain a 16 year old? Would you toss them out of home over a vaccination? Would you risk your relationship over it?
I would not. It’s not always black and white.

#57 NeedSleepNow

Posted 29 August 2019 - 08:15 PM

 Daffy2016, on 29 August 2019 - 07:49 PM, said:

DD is only two, but I try to be understanding while still pulling the Mum card. Having said that, she is a complete nightmare with oral medications. Even from a few months she would vomit out panadol. She now has suppositories, but recently had to have antibiotics and it was awful. I went through a whole bottle of the stuff, tears, screams, pinning her down - and never managed to get anything down her throat.

Any tips very welcome... can’t wait until she’s old enoughfor tablets.

When DS was younger I paid extra for the compounding chemist to make his antibiotics into suppositories when he needed them for a chest infection. They can also make nurofen into suppositories. I’m glad he takes tablets normally now!

#58 blimkybill

Posted 29 August 2019 - 08:22 PM

My family history with needles and medical treatment is complex. Two of my three are highly needle phobic and it also comes with fainting. As a child DD1 needed monitoring for a chronic condition, and it was really really hard to manage the blood tests. There were months of anxiety ahead of each test of vaccination. There was physical fighting against the nurses. There was the sedative which was supposed to render her unconscious but didn’t, it just made her a bit woozy while she fought. I must say after a period of frequent blood tests in her early teens she became a little better through desensitisation. But through her later teens and into adulthood the phobia grew again. Now in her mid twenties I know she doesn’t get all the medical treatment she needs, we certainly talk about it, but it’s really hard for her.
I was quite firm on making the decision a up to about the of 12. Through the teens I would negotiate and we would work out an agreeable compromise. There’s no way I would have threatened her with not living in my home if she didn’t comply. I treated all the negotiations and the fear with respect for her feelings and personal autonomy.
I think perhaps I need to start talking to her aboyt sedation options so she can get future blood tests and other treatments she needs.

#59 PrincessPeach

Posted 29 August 2019 - 08:45 PM

 Daffy2016, on 29 August 2019 - 07:49 PM, said:

DD is only two, but I try to be understanding while still pulling the Mum card. Having said that, she is a complete nightmare with oral medications. Even from a few months she would vomit out panadol. She now has suppositories, but recently had to have antibiotics and it was awful. I went through a whole bottle of the stuff, tears, screams, pinning her down - and never managed to get anything down her throat.

Any tips very welcome... can’t wait until she’s old enough for tablets.

Syringe small amounts into the back of her cheek - that was the technique the peadiatric nurses used to administer prednisone into my little man.

I had to ask what they were doing because he'd taken the stuff multiple times before without issue, evidently that medication is quite horrid tasting.

#60 ytt

Posted 29 August 2019 - 08:51 PM

My DD loves blood tests, she needed them daily in hospital... loved the bruises as well :omg:

Immunisation she tolerates but would prefer blood tests.

#61 Noodlez

Posted 29 August 2019 - 08:51 PM

Wasn’t there something about Medicare and not being able to act on behalf of children over 13? I can’t remember the details.

I do believe children deserve autonomy where possible, it is the consequences of refusal that would determine for me where I draw a line on any issue.

#62 laridae

Posted 29 August 2019 - 09:09 PM

 Daffy2016, on 29 August 2019 - 07:49 PM, said:

DD is only two, but I try to be understanding while still pulling the Mum card. Having said that, she is a complete nightmare with oral medications. Even from a few months she would vomit out panadol. She now has suppositories, but recently had to have antibiotics and it was awful. I went through a whole bottle of the stuff, tears, screams, pinning her down - and never managed to get anything down her throat.

Any tips very welcome... can’t wait until she’s old enough for tablets.

My DD1 has always vomited after Panadol (or any paracetamol no matter what flavour or brand). Some kids do. So we just use nurofen, which she's never had a problem with.
Antibiotics, syringe into the cheek, follow with a chaser of something she likes to drink. When breastfeeding I'd sneak the syringe in the side of her mouth while feeding. I'd get some dirty looks but it worked. Now she's older she'll take a sip of the medicine and follow with a gulp of milk or something. Spoons or little cups work better for this.

#63 Veritas Vinum Arte

Posted 29 August 2019 - 09:28 PM

The syringe to the cheek can backfire with a young baby... when they aspirate baby Panadol, stop breathing twice (dry drowning) and end up with aspiration pneumonia at 4.5m of age.

I taught my kids from a young age to take tablets.

Nurofen does a chewable tablet now.

#64 RabbitHash

Posted 29 August 2019 - 09:32 PM

I distinctly remember telling the health nurse that DD2 will under no circumstances tolerate the Rota virus vaccination, and sure enough the minute she syringes it into DDs mouth, it got vomited up immediately.
No needle phobias, just regular fear with my two. I tell them exactly what is going to happen (Where possible) and I'm always honest about whether it's going to hurt. I have found the anticipation of the unknown is worse.
But I feel for anyone dealing with needle phobias. That must be incredibly difficult.

#65 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 29 August 2019 - 09:32 PM

it’s a tough one.

obviously vaccinations were a non negotiable - they didn’t like them, but they had them and we moved on.

neither of my kids have had antibiotics so i don’t know how they’d go swallowing tablets - clearly if they needed them i would give them to them - however i could - they’ve just never needed them. i attempted a few times with baby nitrogen for viral fevers - with limited success. either the fever went away of its own accord or some of the nurofen got in.


#66 FuzzyChocolateToes

Posted 29 August 2019 - 09:55 PM

 iwanttosleepin, on 29 August 2019 - 07:23 PM, said:

I am a strong believer in body autonomy for teens.

My biggest issue on consent is around the topic of orthodontics.  There is great myth out there that a huge percentage of kids need braces.  When actually - yes their teeth are ugly but orthodontics is in the majority of cases cosmetic.

I have a 10 nearly 11 year old with the most crooked teeth you've seen.  They are a right mess with one tooth stuck up in the roof of his mouth.  But I will leave the decision to straighten them to him.  If he decides he want them done I will support that - but if he doesn't - so be it.  He has his whole life to change his mind.  
I've been through orthodontics and jaw surgery. If my treatment was started earlier, as it's done nowadays, I may have avoided major surgery. My children's orthodontics have started earlier and been much simpler than my treatment was. I can't imagine leaving it for them to sort out when they are adults.

Edited by FuzzyChocolateToes, 29 August 2019 - 09:56 PM.


#67 Freddie'sMum

Posted 29 August 2019 - 10:09 PM

When DD#2 was 4 years old she had to have her injections.  She screamed the entire medical clinic down and hid under a chair.  It took one doctor, two nurses and me to give her the last injection.

I have told the story of her eating disorder which started when she was 9 (year 4).  She had to have a blood test done. The first place there was only 1 young guy on and he didn't have permission / authority to take blood from anyone under 16.  The second place had an absolutely lovely lady on - but she correctly said that there is no way she (on her own and even with DH and me helping her) would be able to successfully get a blood test from her.  The third place had at least 6 to 8 people on - DD#2 was calmer and DH sat in the chair with her in his lap and they gave her the "butterfly" needle to do it.  I had used the numbing cream on both arms so (ironically) it didn't hurt.

All the while this negotiation was going on between DH, the absolutely lovely nurses / staff and DD#2 - the manager of the place was explaining to me (I was in another room crying my eyes out) that they actually - by law - could NOT use force to do a blood test on DD#2,.

IF she wouldn't give her consent (while cuddling into Daddy and not looking at the needle) then the next stop was the hospital.  The manager explained that at the hospital - then the "consent" part would not be a part of the conversation.  She needed to have a blood test and they would simply hold her down to have it done.  The manager said that it was a last resort - and she especially didn't want DD#2 to go through that and for that to be a lasting memory of having her first blood test.

I really really feel for adults and children with needle phobia.  It can't be fixed with stickers and bribery which can work on younger children.  I also really feel for the medical staff who are caught between a rock and a hard place.

I also want to say a huge "thank you" to all the medical professionals out there.  You have no idea how much your caring, kindness and professionalism has meant to our family over the last 10 plus years.  So, thank you.

#68 just roses

Posted 29 August 2019 - 10:19 PM

My DD (then 7) spent a restless night in hospital having refused any oral pain relief for a quite badly broken arm. Nursing staff thought she was mad, but respected her right to refuse. I did too, though I’d have appreciated IV pain relief being offered!

But when it comes to vaccinations, that’s my call. Neither of them is needle phobic (not even the one who is Panadol phobic!) so it’s never been an issue.

#69 *Nasty*Squeekums*

Posted 29 August 2019 - 10:32 PM

 Crombek, on 29 August 2019 - 03:23 PM, said:

Exactly. My primal brain doesn’t see any difference between you coming at me with a needle & coming at my with a knife.

I’m actually not phobic anymore, and the only thing that worked was exposure. Plain and simple. Miscarriages & babies meant many many needles. Plus I believe that my brain accepted the risk of putting my own ‘life’ on the line for the sake of my unborn children. If I hadn’t had kids I fully believe I would still be just as phobic.

Yep, knife, gun, needle, all the same to my brain.

I thought pregnancy would help but nope even not knowing my blood type when I was pregnant and the risks with that didn't switch my brain.
I would have loved more drugs for labour but couldn't, the fear of needles kept me to just gas, the offered, I didn't even let her get the whole question out before I told her in no uncertain terms to F off.

#70 Inkogneatoh

Posted 29 August 2019 - 11:04 PM

 Chicken Pie, on 29 August 2019 - 03:51 PM, said:

After terrible experience with a nurse doing blood test on DD - i used EMLA and told her we still needed to wait for it to numb and she was in a hurry (it was quiet so no idea why) and said it would already be numb

so DD listened and had smeone come in and help hold arm still.....the second it went in DD screamed something awful about it hurting and feeling it while i hugged her lying down

DD than said to me "why did you say it wouldnt hurt when it did" - her trust was broken and a traumatic intro to needles.

in hospital (suspected meningitis), they did cream etc and waited to do drip in hand. frankly drip in hand is the worst but her anxiety flattened her veins in her arms. she panicked but listened. I held onto her in prep, they sprayed that freezing stuff and i think the entire hospital thought she was being murdered. they also did not use a butterfly needle so this large needle in a tiny 8 yr old hand....i cried as much as she did just from that scream.

sadly every GP visit she says to me "are you sure no needles" she will likely fight to death in future for a needle so would need sedation because i will never let her experience such pain and trauma again

I have been told, on multiple occasions, that the gauge of a canula isn't just about where it is going, but what it is for. Mum was extremely hard to canulate due to physical issues (mainly deep veins that used to run away from needles and scar tissue in her elbows) and when possible, they would go for a pediatric needle. But if there was a chance of her needing certain antibiotics, which were "thicker" then it was the widest gauge they could put where they were putting it.

#71 Quay11

Posted 29 August 2019 - 11:50 PM

We've had to drag a kicking screaming 3.5yo, pin her down and give her a painful needle every single night (it's mixed with citric acid - even emla didn't help).

It's f-ing awful and goes against every sort of parent we wanted to be.

We all ended up in tears.

Eventually she was able to learn to do it herself. There are still meltdowns sometimes when she's overwhelmed but at least she's able to do it herself and can understand why.

My son is needle phobic (probably after witnessing all this ever since he can remember) and can have panic attacks with needles. He needs to get a flu shot every year because of my daughter's immunological issue. So far my husband takes him and it can only be a certain doctor and there must be a jelly bean..

We teach body autonomy where we can, but it's hard when your back is up against a wall like that...

.

 laridae, on 29 August 2019 - 09:09 PM, said:

My DD1 has always vomited after Panadol (or any paracetamol no matter what flavour or brand). Some kids do. So we just use nurofen, which she's never had a problem with.

Panadol suppositories are also great :)

#72 MooGuru

Posted 30 August 2019 - 01:17 AM

 born.a.girl, on 29 August 2019 - 10:47 AM, said:

It's an interesting question, and in times of increasing awareness about a child's right to decide what happens to their own body, the lines presumably sometimes get blurred.


Neighbours were a bit agog, when they took their 3yo to the RCH emergency department, because she wouldn't take the antibiotics liquid that she definitely needed.

I suspect the RCH were a bit frustrated that two educated people would come to them for an answer. They said 'if bribes don't work, you just hold her nose and pour it in, like this'. (It wasn't as blunt as that, they spoke to the child first, and told her it just had to go in, one way or the other.)

They thought it was seriously inappropriate to just 'act' like that. I'm not sure what they thought the emergency department could do.

I found lots of parents who potentially have made it through a year or two of parenting without needing to do anything like that seem to be really out of their depth when confronted with forcing their child to do something they don't want to do.
I used to hear all the time "oh you're so lucky DS likes to take his medication my child just refuses and it's so upsetting when they're upset. I just can't do it to them."
They seemed completely blown away that I had to pin him down every single day. Sometimes multiple times a day. I think they genuinely had no idea that could be an option.

#73 laridae

Posted 31 August 2019 - 03:45 AM

 Quay11, on 29 August 2019 - 11:50 PM, said:


Panadol suppositories are also great :)

In a choice between a medicine she would happy take orally (nurofen) and shoving something up her butt, we went the medicine she'd happily take.

#74 EsmeLennox

Posted 31 August 2019 - 04:17 AM

 iwanttosleepin, on 29 August 2019 - 07:23 PM, said:

I am a strong believer in body autonomy for teens.

My biggest issue on consent is around the topic of orthodontics.  There is great myth out there that a huge percentage of kids need braces.  When actually - yes their teeth are ugly but orthodontics is in the majority of cases cosmetic.

I have a 10 nearly 11 year old with the most crooked teeth you've seen.  They are a right mess with one tooth stuck up in the roof of his mouth.  But I will leave the decision to straighten them to him.  If he decides he want them done I will support that - but if he doesn't - so be it.  He has his whole life to change his mind.  

Just make sure that he fully understands the possible long term impact of a tooth stuck in the roof of the mouth. Dealing with that as an adult can be very difficult.

#75 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 31 August 2019 - 09:04 AM

yes i would push as much as i could for proper orthodontic care for my teens. i know it’s not pleasant, but neither is hiding your smile for the rest of your life. teeth are important - we are visual creatures and a life of crooked, missing etc teeth has consequences for employment, relationships....





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