Preparing Your Child for a Doctor’s Checkup

Posted on May 29, 2019 : Posted in Legacy Academy

Medical checkups are important for children, both for their health and for your peace of mind. However, many young children develop anxiety about doctor’s visits. These fears stem from all sorts of thoughts, including anticipation of discomfort and anxiety about the unknown. As a parent, you want to prepare your child as much as you can to ensure a profitable and calm doctor’s visit. With that in mind, here are some ways of preparing your child for a doctor’s checkup.

Know What’s Coming

In order to prepare your child for a checkup, it’s essential that you know what the visit will include. If you are unclear about the procedures or exams to expect, ask your doctor or a nurse in the office. Ask lots of questions to gain a clear picture. For example, ask about any shots or blood work on the schedule. Also ask about what tools the nurses or doctor will use, such as otoscopes and blood pressure cuffs. The more you know about the procedure in the office, the more capable you will be to prepare your child.

Choose Your Appointment Time Wisely

No one knows your child like you do, so think carefully about the best time to see the doctor. While it may be more convenient for you to take them on your lunch break or after work, many young children nap in the early afternoon and are exhausted right before dinner. To prevent a tired and hungry meltdown, try to schedule your child’s checkup at the time of day they are most flexible and calm. Of course, only so much of the scheduling is within your control. Still, taking your child’s state of mind into consideration can go a long way.

Be Honest with Your Child

It may be tempting, when your child is anxious, to fib about what will happen at the doctor’s office. However, if you really want to prepare your child for a checkup, you should be entirely honest with them. If they ask about shots or other concerns, calmly explain that there may be uncomfortable moments, but that you will not leave their side. Also, remind your child of other incidents where they have overcome anxiety or discomfort and have been brave. Choosing an activity your child loves to do right after the appointment is a good way to redirect their attention and give them something to look forward to.

Include Your Child in the Process

Even when they are very small, children love to be included in important things. Further, they feel more capable and brave when they feel at least somewhat in control of their circumstances. With this in mind, include your child in their checkup. For instance, ask them what activities or comfort items they want to bring with them. Allow them to choose books or television episodes about doctor’s visits to remind them what the checkup will be like. And encourage your child to think of questions they may want to ask the doctor. You may be surprised what they come up with!

Prepare Yourself as Well

In preparing your child for a doctor’s checkup, don’t forget to take stock of your own feelings about it. Are you feeling anxious, concerned, or stressed about the appointment? Your own negative feelings, even if you don’t express them, can really affect the way your child perceives the encounter. It’s very common to feel unsure in medical environments and being aware of your own concerns will allow you to show grace to yourself as well as to your child.

Even though they are routine, medical checkups often feel daunting, even to adults. Touching base with your child about any negative feelings helps to prepare them for a checkup and allows you to know their state of mind. Doctors are caregivers and work hard to support their patients in every way they can. Between their expertise in medicine and your expert knowledge of your child, you’ll make the checkup a stellar experience for everyone. If you are looking for childcare that supports your child’s health in every sense, consider Legacy Academy Suwanee Dam. Call or visit today for more information.