Guide to Safe Holding Positions

Health Play Department
Bergholt Ward, Ipswich Hospital
Tel: 01473 702 186 (Ext:1186)

Before your child has their procedure it is really important for you and your child to be in a comfortable position that is safe for everyone. Here are some examples of safe holding positions.

Side sitting position

This position works well for a blood test as one arm is being shielded by the parent and the other arm can be released behind the parent’s back. This position offers reassurance for injections too.

Bear Hug Position

In this position one of your child’s arms can be free to join in with distraction or other activities. Their other arm should be underneath the parent’s arm. If your child is a wriggler, this position helps the parent to give a firm hug to make sure the procedure is done safely.


Younger children often enjoy bubbles or you can use a phone or tablet to play games. You can also try books, singing along to nursery rhymes or songs. If your child has regular blood tests or injections, perhaps sticker charts can also help.

For more information

Speak to your nurse or play specialist