• Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

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How to talk to your children about organ donation

  • Last year, 1,397 organ donors and their families saved the lives of 4,324 people waiting for a transplant – over half of those had recorded their decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register
  • Families will always be involved before donation takes place, so making your choice clear by registering can provide peace of mind for your loved ones
  • 4% of organ donors in 2021 were aged 0-17, and organ donation is now taught in schools for KS3/4
  • Child psychologist, Angharad Rudkin, gives advice on how to talk to children and young people about difficult topics including death and organ donation

N.B Organ donation laws vary across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. For more information, visit https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/uk-laws/.

Legal & General (L&G) has partnered with the NHS to help families discuss the importance of organ donation. Whether it’s telling your loved ones about your own decision or educating the next generation about the choices they can make, having an open and honest conversation is key

It is important for you to record your decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register. Families will always be consulted before organ donation goes ahead, so whatever your decision, it is vital that you talk to your loved ones – so they can fully understand the decision and can be certain about what you want.

L&G wants to help support more families, of all ages, to have a conversation and register their organ donation decisions. Talking to children about difficult topics such as this can be tough to navigate, but it is important to get young people involved.

HAVING THE CONVERSATION

There’s a whole range of important conversations to have with children, that deserve to be dealt with sensitively. L&G partnered with child psychologist Angharad Rudkin to provide expert comment and insight on having conversations with children on sensitive topics, such as organ donation.

She recommends the following tips on having effective conversations with children:

  1. Pick the right time – Choose a good moment when children aren’t too tired, hungry, or doing something they really enjoy, as they’ll then be more amenable to listen.
  2. Be mindful – As you’re talking, keep checking in with how they’re feeling – try asking ‘is this ok?’, ‘would you like me to stop?’ and ‘how are you feeling?’
  3. Schedule conversations – If they’re unresponsive or feeling particularly anxious, try arranging a new time together that would be more appropriate to return to the topic.
  4. Be self-aware – Children take in as much from what you do as what you say. If you’re behaving in a calm, relaxed way then your child is more likely to respond in that way too.
  5. Don’t judge or criticise – let your child ask whatever question they would like, even if it does make you worry as a parent.
  6. Moving on – After the conversation, move on to a different activity together to ease the transition back to everyday life, and reassure the child that life will now go on as usual.

ORGAN DONATION WEEK

This Organ Donation Week (26th Sept – 2nd Oct), NHS Blood and Transplant are urging people GO PINK! From wearing pink to drinking pink, go as pink as possible to show support for organ donation across the country. The pinkibilities are endless and can help spark conversations among families, encouraging people to register their organ donation decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register.

By admin