How to Prepare Your Child before Taking Them to Pediatrics

Most children dread going to the doctor’s clinic. Kids may associate clinics with needles, bitter syrups, and uncomfortable probing. But of course, you cannot miss going to the pediatrician. Your child will need to see the pediatrician a few times a year for basic checkups alone. Then there may be emergency situations, the need for critical care, and mental health counseling.

Preparing kids before a pediatric visit is one way to make it for easier for both kids and parents to see the doctor. Depending on the child’s age, you can devise simple strategies for the same. There is no preparation required when it comes to infants. Older children (ages 10 and above) are usually old enough to not take their parents’ make-believes seriously.

Here’s how to prepare your child before taking them to the pediatrician.

Choose a friendly pediatrician.

Yes, this tip may sound a bit strange. But it is important to choose a doctor with a friendly demeanor. A doctor with a sweet disposition can help make children feel at ease. They may even go out of their way to calm the children.

Be sure to ask for referrals from the people you know. You can also conduct your own online search to find the names of pediatricians in your town or city. Use search terms such as Jacksonville pediatrics (location + requirement) to generate good results.

Once you find their names and websites, further research will get easier. You can then check their online reviews, patient testimonials, and social media profiles, and chatter to find out if they are friendly or not, good with children or not, etc.

Make it fun.

You can take the stress out of the pediatric visit by bringing elements of fun into it. Instead of taking the visit as a ‘pediatric visit’, simply consider it as an outing and make your child too believe so.

Prepare for it like you will for some picnic. Pack a bag with few snacks, 2-3 small toys, a water bottle, and perhaps a hat or bandana. Do this in front of your kids. Let them see you pack the bag. Talk to them about the visit. Let them know that you are going to have some fun at the doctor’s clinic.

Try to arrive 10-15 minutes before your scheduled appointment. Use this time to play games with your child in the waiting area. Let your child observe the surroundings, colors, and other people in the waiting area. You can also use this time as the ‘story time’. Simply pack your child’s favorite picture book or a new one (even better) to utilize the free time.

When it’s time to head inside the doctor’s chambers, let your kid know that it is going be fun as well. Your child is likely to be less stressed about the visit when he or she was just having a good time. Kids may also begin to associate pediatric visits with something fun if you try this trick (best suited for toddlers and younger kids).

Talk it out with your kids.

It is best to have a discussion with your kids about pediatric visits once they are old enough to understand it. Tell them what it entails. Take them for simple general checkups once or twice when they seem to be in a good mood.

On vaccine days, ensure that the kids have good food and rest. If they are sleepy and hungry, they are likely to be crankier. The same applies when you need to take the kids for diagnostic tests or for longer pediatric visits.

Show your kids pictures featuring doctors and kids. Better still; show your kids your pediatrician’s website. Introduce your child to the doctor (prior to the initial visit). Let the child see photographs of the pediatrician and the clinic. Show the kids pictures on the web featuring doctors treating kids. You can even introduce doctor visits to the kids using animated videos.

Normalizing doctor visits is the key in situations when the kids are stressed about them. It may take time and patience to help kids become comfortable with the idea. But in time; kids may become OK with the visits due to the familiarity factor.