Help Your Child Overcome Fear of Doctor Visits

As parents, we’ve all been there.child sitting in doctor's office

Your child needs to see the doctor for one reason or another, and you practically have to drag your child kicking and screaming through those revolving doors at the doctor’s office.

It’s quite common for children to develop a fear of doctor visits, but it doesn’t have to be that way. As a parent, you play a vital role in shaping your child’s outlook about the process. Today, we’re sharing practical ways in which you can help your child overcome fears and make doctor visits a more enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

Role Play

As soon as you schedule your child’s next appointment with the doctor, take her to the calendar and let her watch you write the appointment time on it, then tell your child why they are going — a routine visit, a sick appointment, etc.

After you discuss the fact that he or she will be visiting the doctor soon, taking the time to role play several scenarios that might take place during a visit can help make the idea a little more fun and ease any jitters your child may have.

To do this, purchase a play doctor’s kit and let your child perform various medical acts, like using the stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, and tongue depressor on you or stuffed toys or dolls.

Be Positive, Yet Honest

Skirting the truth when it comes to talking about the more unpleasant things that can take place during a doctor’s visit will hurt your child rather than help them.

If children are lured into the office under a false sense of security that shots don’t hurt or tongue depressors don’t make you gag a little, they will be frightened and confused when they do experience those things.

Instead, be up front and honest with your child by saying something like, “You’re due for a vaccine this visit, and while shots do hurt a little, they are very fast and only sting a little while before the feeling goes away. The good news is shots prevent serious diseases from harming your body. They may not be fun today, but they protect you in the long run.”

When your child knows exactly what to expect, fears of the unknown are eased.

Empower Your Child to Be Involved During the Visit

Sometimes a child’s fear of the doctor stems from a feeling that they are not in control of the situation. You can help your child relieve that feeling by encouraging him to do most of the talking with the doctor, rather than just you. Suggest that your child describe symptoms, ask any questions, etc.

When a child feels empowered to join the conversation in the exam room, he or she will feel a little more in control and comfortable. It transitions a child from simply being talked about, to being talked to. This helps produce independence when it comes to teaching children to manage their own physical well-being and medical care.

Lead By Example

Probably one of the most beneficial things you can do for your child to get used to doctor visits is to let them accompany you to some of yours! Your child takes cues from you, so if she sees you full of confidence and smiles during your own appointments, she will rest a little easier going into her next visit.

During your visit, you can explain to your child what’s taking place and reiterate how important doctor visits are — even for mommies and daddies! If your child sees you placing a high priority on your own health, she will learn to do the same as she grows and develops into a young adult.

Request An Appointment

If you’re looking for kind, caring doctors who take a deep interest in your child and their medical needs, LeBauer HealthCare may be just the friendly environment your child needs to put fears to ease. LeBauer has family practice providers at six convenient Triad locations, including Burlington, NC. Request an appointment today!

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