Fear of Doctors in Children
As a baby, your child may remember getting shots or the bright lights or the cold room. These are all aspects of a routine visit to a pediatrician. While the visit wasn’t harmful, it may have left some lasting impressions.
To avoid fighting with your child each time they have to visit the pediatrician, dentist or another specialist, here are some tips to keep them calm and actually have them looking forward to the visit.
Pain – Shots are not easy to take. Even if your child doesn’t remember the shots, they may anticipate some sort of pain due to their fear.
Going Alone – Will they have to go see this strange person in the white coat without you? Nothing scares a young child more than being separated from mommy or daddy.
The Doctor – What will he or she be like? They may look scary, especially if they are the type that doesn’t smile. Your child may not feel warmth or comfort and sense danger instead.
So, here is what you can do for them.
* Talk to them – Explain what type of doctor they will see and what will happen. If they are going to see a dentist, talk about how they see you brushing your teeth in the morning or how you brush theirs. He will do the same thing and check to see that the teeth are healthy.
* Show them – You can find just about any video you want on the internet these days. Find one that shows how teeth are cleaned and what exactly a dentist does. If you are visiting a pediatrician, maybe you can demonstrate how they listen to your heart or look into your eyes.
* Make a practice run – Ask the doctor if your child can visit early in the morning before they open, or after hours. They can see the exam room, meet the staff and get a feel for the office before they actually have to be there. In such a calm environment, they can ask questions and see that there is nothing to be afraid of.
* Get them involved – Write down questions your child may want to ask. Involving them in the process can make them feel better.
Is your child anxious about a visit to the doctor? Learn what is making them fearful and then take steps to try and alleviate those worries.