chapter  10
6 Pages

Fun with Bubbles: Relieving Childhood Pain and Physical Symptoms

ByOlivia Chiang Jeri Hepworth Susan McDaniel

Bodily symptoms in children can be terrifying to children and to their family members. This playful “bubble” intervention provides a way for a child and his or her family members to help manage somatic complaints, such as pain, through knowledge and diaphragmatic breathing. When children feel their bodies are out of control, this intervention is an active approach that can lessen fear and anxiety and increase their sense of agency (McDaniel, Hepworth, & Doherty, 1992). It gives a sense of control to the child and his or her family, and it provides an easy and efficient method of teaching diaphragmatic breathing in a manner that is developmentally appropriate for children. The task of blowing bubbles provides feedback and a sense of fun. As an activity for the entire family, blowing bubbles can reinforce the child’s ability to relieve symptoms, while increasing family play and connectedness.