Somewhere along the way, going to the doctor has become a scary idea for some children. Children associate it with being sick, shots, and other unpleasant experiences. While these are all fair thoughts for a child to have, we also want children to know that going to the doctor can be fun!
Here are 5 easy tips on making going to the doctor less scary:
- Prepare: Besides the unfortunate sick visits that will pop up, children will see the doctor for well checks every so often. When you know there is an appointment coming up, the best thing you can do is prepare! There are a variety of books available to talk about going to the doctor. Some of our favorites are: “Corduroy Goes to the Doctor” By: Don Freeman and “My Friend the Doctor” By: Joanna Cole. Another great way to prepare your children for the doctor is role play. Doctor’s Kits, bandages on toys, and reverse role playing are some of the ways to familiarize your children with the process they will go through at the doctor.
- Validate their fears: Instead of saying: “the shot won’t hurt” or “don’t cry”, acknowledge that the experience of getting a shot, for example, may be unpleasant but it will be over quickly and we will get through it together.
- Provide Stability: Sitting on a high table with a stranger in the room can be intimidating. If Mommy or Daddy is there to sit with them it will give the child the comfort they need to feel secure and protected.
- Bring a lovey: A lot of children have their favorite stuffed animal or toy, keep it in your purse and bring it out when necessary. You could even have the doctor do a “practice exam” on the lovey to show that it is not scary.
- Offer Something to look forward to: When you leave the doctor’s office, shower your child with love. Hugs, kisses, and praises are all acceptable! If there is time, take them to a playground or go grab a sweet treat. This will reinstate how proud you are of them and ensure a positive experience next time
Going to the doctor is inevitable, but these useful tips will help make it a more positive experience! Good luck!
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Urgent Care for Kids is the largest pediatric urgent care chain in Texas, serving families in the greater Austin, DFW, and Houston areas. Our goal is to provide every patient with the highest quality medical care and superior customer service at a time and location that is convenient to working parents. We accept all major commercial insurance plans and all Texas Medicaid and CHIP plans in order to best serve our patients and their families. To learn more about our locations, hours, and services we provide, please visit our website.