It’s a little scary when you think about it. You’re a child, still trying to figure out what’s what in the world. And once a year or so, you go to a special building to be poked and possibly given a shot by a stranger in a white coat.
It’s not surprising that many children can be nervous or scared of the doctor, associating the doctor’s office with needles and bad-tasting medicine. While some children may take years to get over their fear, others come around eventually when they become comfortable talking with the doctor about how they’re feeling. But what’s a parent to do before then when it’s time to see the doctor?
We’re here to answer that very question. Here are a few tips to help you prepare your child for their next appointment with their pediatrician:
- Explain Why You’re Going To The Doctor. It’s always best to let your child know about a doctor’s appointment in advance, rather than making it a surprise. When it comes time to explain why a regular physical appointment is necessary, speak about the doctor positively. Saying things like “the doctor is going to see how you are growing and to make sure you’re healthy” may be helpful. Kids may also like hearing that all the other kids make trips to the doctor too, so they don’t feel alone. If you are visiting the doctor to treat an illness or injury, explain that the doctor is going to figure out how they can fix the problem and help your child feel better again.
- Talk About What Occurs During Routine Check-Ups. Some kids may think the doctor can just look at them and determine if they’re healthy, so it’s best to detail the entire process (within reason) so they aren’t left with any surprises. Take your child’s favorite doll, stuffed animal, or action figure to break down the appointment for them visually. Demonstrate how their arm will be cuffed when the doctor takes their blood pressure, explain how the doctor will use a special stick to press down on their tongue to look at their throat, and lightly press on the stomach of the stuffed animal to explain how the doctor will check on theirs. Just in case, never promise that the appointment will be pain-free. Unless you know your child’s immunization schedule, there may or may not be a shot involved at the appointment.
- Find a Pediatrician You Trust. Visiting the doctor can be a scary experience for children, and also for parents who are unsure about and how the doctor will treat their child. Trust is key, no matter which doctor you see.
That said, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention our own staff as a resource for young children and families. At Genesis Medical, our team can help you out with any of concerns as well as your child’s concerns, and giving you peace of mind at your child’s upcoming appointment. To schedule an appointment with a pediatrician, find your nearest location and our staff will help you with anything you may need from there!