5 Tips to Making Doctor Visits Less Scary

5 Tips to Making Doctor Visits Less Scary
April 13, 2016 Melissa Bauman

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:

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

 

8 Comments

  1. Tobias Armstrong 1 year ago

    I really like the idea of validating a child’s fears. I remember when I was a kid, my parents did the opposite, and I really didn’t like visiting the doctor. It makes sense to let them know that a shot is going to hurt, but then positively reinforce that it’s going to be over quickly. These were all really awesome ideas for kids, but the validation tip really stood out to me, so thanks for sharing!

  2. Faylinn 1 year ago

    I really appreciate these five tips, because I have had to take my son to the urgent care twice this month so far and he is so scared every time that we go. However, I have never taken the opportunity to validate my son’s fears and so I especially like your advice about that. I am usually very quick to say that shots won’t hurt or that medicine won’t be yucky, because I just want him to do whatever he needs to do. Now, though, I am going to try being more honest with him about his fears and see how he handles that in the future.

  3. Lillian Moore 1 year ago

    I love the suggestion to shower your child with love after leaving the doctors office. This is a great way to give your child something to look forward to. I would even think that going to the doctors office can turn into a bonding moment for you and your child.

  4. Kendall Everett 1 year ago

    I thought it was interesting when you mentioned how important it is to provide stability when at the doctor’s office or urgent care. Some places can be intimidating to a child, so having someone they trust there is important like you mentioned. It may help to communicate with them all the times that you will be available to them during their visit.

  5. Sarah Smith 1 year ago

    My daughter is terrified of doctors. Thanks for the advice about preparing them and offering a reward to hopefully make it a positive experience. Hopefully, I can find a doctor that will put my daughter at ease and won’t scare her.

  6. Kendall Ryder 11 months ago

    Making the doctors office experience better would be smart to do for your child. You can make the whole experience better by turning it into a fun outing. You can plan to go to the park, or do something fun afterwards. That way, they have something to look forward to.

  7. Johnny McCarron 10 months ago

    I really like your advice to validate the child’s fears. There are a lot of people that don’t understand the importance of making the child comfortable. However, if the child stays fearful, it will be hard to convince them to go to the doctor. Do you have any other tips about finding a good doctor, both for children and adults?

  8. Deedee Lewis 7 months ago

    I really like your tip about acknowledging that shots hurt and you will be there to support your child as they experience it for themselves. My daughter doesn’t love visits to the doctor and I let her know that I understand how scary it must seem but that I will be there with her the entire time. I will keep these tips in mind for the next time my daughter and I make a visit to the doctor’s office.

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