A doctor's visit is important for your child's health, but it can be hard to bring your child into the office when you know that they are afraid. Here are some troubleshooting tips to help you calm a child who's afraid of the doctor.
Never Break Promises
It can help to walk your child through the appointment and let them ask questions about what will happen during the visit. If you know that something painful will happen during the visit don't lie to your child; this can further your child's mistrust and fear of doctors. Instead, only offer things that you can guarantee, such as the fact that you'll be there to hold their hand during a shot or other uncomfortable experience.
Use a Children's Clinic
If you're using a general family practitioner as your main care provider, you might consider switching to a childrens clinic. A pediatrician's office is designed to make children feel more comfortable from the time they enter the office. The pediatricians at children's clinics receive special training to deal with treating child patients, and this includes fearful children. Your child will also get to see many other children playing and waiting for their doctor's appointments, which might help to calm your child's nerves about what's happening to him.
Talk to Your Doctor
If your doctor knows that the child is uncomfortable with an upcoming appointment, they can prepare to welcome the child and take a more supportive demeanor. Your doctor might also be able to recommend books or movies that you can watch ahead of time that explain certain procedures that could come up during the appointment.
Make It Rewarding
Sometimes, a successful doctor's visit comes down to distraction. Try creating a reward system for an anxious child, promising different levels of rewards depending on how well the child behaves. For instance, if you think your child might throw a fit when it comes time to draw blood, offer a reward specifically if your child sits nicely for the shot. You can actually start the rewards before the appointment, doing something fun before the appointment to make it a more positive day for your child.
Having a child that's fearful of a doctor's visit is a common situation. By choosing a supportive childrens clinic and giving your child a lot of support through the process, you can start to reduce the fear that has built up around going to the doctor. For more information, talk to a professional like Kitsap Children's Clinic LLP.Share
11 September 2015
When my daughter began having academic problems in school and acting out, I knew that something wasn’t right. Her teachers wanted me to put her on ADD medications, but I didn’t think that that was the right course for us. I had serious doubts that ADD was what was causing her problems. I took her to several different specialists before discovering that her issues in school were actually do to a visual processing problem. The doctor recommended vision therapy, not medication, to help correct the problem and get her back on track. The exercises are really starting to pay off, and she’s showing great improvement.