Help Children to Stop Touching Their Face
However, retinoblastoma primarily affects children under five years old, and both these measures can be hard to achieve in this age group.
We hope the following guide will help parents support your children in learning these important skills.
These classic “follow the leader” games are great for encouraging listening and simple directions – “Simon Says, put your hands on your knees! Simon Says put your hands on your toes! Simon Says put your hands on your back! Etc. Be careful to ensure “Simon” does not instruct players to touch their face.
Use a Funny Voice
Giving directions and reminders – such as handwashing or not touching the face – in a new silly voice, changes the interaction into something fun. Try a funny accent or an impression of your child’s favourite character. It can make your direction more memorable and help the child remember the action.
When you notice your child reaching for their face, use quick distraction actions to help encourage hands off faces. Ask for help to hold something (a toy/ball/phone/small book), or offer gentle tickles on their toes/tummy/knees to draw their hands away from their face.
Predict and Prepare
If you can predict that your child will touch their face and eyes post-treatment, take steps BEFORE treatment to prevent that situation by providing some preparation through songs and action-based play, as well as lots of distracting manipulative toys and activities. This will help your child remember the steps and actions in each song, and look forward to the manipulative toys they know they can enjoy after treatment.
As a parent, you may feel frustrated having to ask/tell your child not to do something over and over again. But when you approach the problem with humor, a song, and a whole lot of patience, you may just save your sanity. Remember, it takes time for any child to learn a new skill or action. Babies, toddlers and pre-school age children greatly benefit from repeatedly doing activities in order to learn and master the skill.