Distraction Coach

Child using a book during distraction in actionWe know it’s difficult seeing your child in pain, but you can reduce distress by becoming a distraction coach. As a distraction coach, you refocus your child’s attention away from the procedure and toward something fun — a toy, a book, a video game, or even a silly conversation.

Focused Play

Distraction can also be called focused play. It lets your child focus on fun things, rather than the procedure.

Distraction in Action

Distraction in Action uses a short survey to provide an individual profile and instructions for distracting your child.


  • Answer a few questions with your child.Watch the training video, which will show you how to be a good distraction coach.
  • View your child’s DistrEstimate, which shows your child’s predicted risk for distress.
  • Read the tips provided to help you lessen your child’s pain and anxiety.
  • Select and download suggested apps that may help distract your child during a procedure.


We compare answers to your questions with the reponses from over 1,000 families from our research to create your child’s risk for distress profile.
Distraction in Action uses your child’s profile to give you a DistrEstimate of your child’s risk for distress during a needle stick procedure when a parent is the distraction coach.

DistrEstimate child risk for distress profile during distraction in action

Training videos

These videos show parents being distraction coaches for their children during medical procedures. Watch them to learn how to best help your child.You can watch these now or view them after you finish the Distraction in Action questions.

Tips for your child

We will give you tips that will help you and your child, such as:

  • How to capture your child’s attention
  • How to use play to lessen your child’s anxiety
  • Ways to set your child up for success

Suggested Apps

We’ll give you a list of age-appropriate apps that are useful for distracting your child.