How a soft toy can help with the young and the restless

TO GAIN access to an irritable young child’s abdomen, use a soft toy as your advance scout. Bounce it playfully on their stomach as a distraction, then slip the other hand underneath to at least quickly assess whether it’s ‘lax, non-tender’.

To get a child to breathe deeply during chest auscultation, hold your auroscope light in front of them and ask them to 'blow out the birthday candle.'

Or, for 3 to 5-year-olds, rather than asking them to breathe deeply, which inevitably, in my experience, leads to a sustained breath-holding, instruct them to pant like a