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Raising fit Kids

Tips for Preparing Your Child for a Doctor's Visit
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Tanya Altmann, MD, FAAP posted:
Many children enjoy visiting their pediatrician. I love when my patients excitedly run in the front door and give me or my nurse a big hug. And this actually does happen every day at my office, more than you might think.

As nice as it is for me and my staff, I'm sure my patients' parents are also thrilled that their children are comfortable and even happy about seeing the doctor. Here are a few tips that you can use to prepare your child for his doctor's appointments and encourage him to cooperate and enjoy the visit.

- It's never too early to begin talking about the doctor. Kids love learning about fireman, astronauts, zookeepers, and even doctors. Get a toy doctor's kit for your home. Let your child become familiar with the equipment. Prepare your child for the exam by role playing. You can be the patient or vise versa. Take this opportunity to teach your child about the body parts that her doctor will most likely check out, such as her ears, eyes, nose, mouth, or belly button.

- Make going to the doctor's office fun. Bring activities to occupy her in case there is a wait. Books and small toys work well. If you seem like you are having fun, your kids will sense it and be more likely to enjoy themselves, too! So it's important that you try to relax, even if you are nervous about your child's health. Children will also sense your stress and anxiety.

- Talk to your child about how Mommy and Daddy also go to the doctor's office to stay healthy and get better when you're sick. It's all in the presentation, so talk up your own experiences.

- Don't lie to your children, or tell them things like their shots won't hurt. Instead, explain to them that shots will help keep them from getting sick. Tell them that a shot will feel like a quick pinch. But then it'll be over. Let them know that Mommy and Daddy get shots, too. And again, if you're strong and relaxed, your child will be, too.

- Do your best to keep your child's regularly scheduled doctor visits. If your child is comfortable going to the doctor's office as a result of making regular well-child visits, sick or emergency visits will be easier for them to deal with.

- Lastly, giving your child a special reward or treat after a good visit is a nice tradition that kids will associate with seeing the doctor in the future.

Going to the doctor is part of living a healthy life. It should be a positive and fun experience whenever possible. What have you done to prepare your child and avoid any anxiety about visiting his pediatrician?
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candy352 responded:
Great ideas. My daughter is only 2 months and I was so scared of taking her during her 2 month visit to get her immunizations. I think they hurt me than they did her. I had a talk with her the day before about the shots. I know she's only 2 months old, but I like to think she understands me, LOL. She was a brave little girl though. I wish she was old enough to enjoy a treat other than her bottle. I like the idea about letting them know that Mommy and Daddy also go to the doctor's office. I actually schedule my appts around hers so right after her appt, we go to mine. I think I'm going to keep it that way. I hope my baby grows up and loves her pediatrician. That's the type of relationship I need her to have with her doctor.
 
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Elizabeth_WebMD_Staff replied to candy352's response:
Hi Candy - Your LO is precious! Love seeing the pics!

It is great that you talk to her, explaining your daily activities and thoughts. I think she understands

Elizabeth
 
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onlyhelp responded:
Please read my post about my friends son who only weighs in at 19# and he is 3 years old.


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