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November 17, 2008

Techniques to Allay Anxiety During Pediatric Laser Procedures

Arch Dermatol. 2008;144(11):1476. doi:10.1001/archderm.144.11.1476

A 6-year-old boy presented with a nevus simplex overlying the middle forehead that he has had since birth. He was being treated with a 595-nm pulsed-dye laser every 4 weeks. We use several measures in our pediatric dermatology clinic to ease anxiety during laser treatments and other procedures in children. In the video, you can see 4 different techniques. First, lidocaine, 4%, cream (LMX) is applied to the target area under occlusion at triage and then is allowed to sit for at least 30 minutes before treatment with the pulsed-dye laser is begun. Second, at least 1 parent remains in the room, preferably close to the child, during the procedure. Third, we position the child comfortably with a firm but gentle hold on the target area. Finally, in the case of laser treatments, we avoid using large goggles for eye protection in children and instead use layers of soft gauze, which are held in place.

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