HomeHealth & WellnessHow to Prepare Your Child for a Visit to the Pediatrician

How to Prepare Your Child for a Visit to the Pediatrician

As a parent, it’s your job to keep kidssafe and healthy. This means bringing them to the doctor when they’re sick,injured, or for wellness checks. As a child gets older and they start tounderstand their senses, they may become afraid of the doctor. After all, thisindividual who they don’t know is touching them, looking in their mouth andnose, and possibly even giving them shots, all of which can be scary. Becauseof this, many children panic when it’s time to go to the doctor, and that canmake the situation worse for parents. So how exactly do you prepare your childfor a visit to the pediatrician?

Talk with your child.

The very first thing you should do is talk withyour child about their visit. Explain to them why they need to go and whatexactly will happen why they are there. Remind them that you will be with themthe whole time, and explain the importance of going to the doctor. Be sure youtell your child why it’s important for them to see the doctor and how thedoctor is only there to help your child. In addition to talking about thevisit, it’s also important to talk about how your child feels and answer anyquestions they may have. Allowing your child to express their emotions andconcerns, but also being able to ease their fears, will make the experienceeasier for everyone involved.

Show them websites,pictures, and videos.

Many children are visual learners, so showing them thedoctor’s website, a picture of the doctor, or just generic pictures of adoctor’s office or visit could help them better understand what to expect. Useresources like http://pediatriccenter.com/so your child can explore what a doctor’s office may look like. And if you canshow them a picture of the doctor ahead of time, it can also make theexperience seem less scary too. Use the resources available to you so yourchild can be more comfortable when it’s time to go to the doctor.

Read books.

There are plenty of children’s books out there designed tohelp children better understand certain situations, and going to the doctor’soffice is one of them. Based on your child’s age and interests, find a bookthat would be appropriate for them about going to the doctor. Sometimes thesebooks can better explain what to expect to your child in a language that makessense to them. Plus, combining this information with pictures that teach yourchild about the things they will find in the doctor’s office can make thesituation easier on them.

Be prepared yourself.

There’s no telling what will happen when you arrive at thedoctor’s office, so it’s important for you as the parent to be prepared. Forinstance:

  • You may be in the waiting room for a long time,so you’ll need a way to keep your child entertained during the wait. Be sure tohave some sort of toy or book to keep your child happy during the wait.
  • The doctor’s appointment may occur during asnack or meal time, so your child may get hungry. Be sure to have some snackspacked just in case this happens.
  • The appointment could also occur during naptime, which means your child will be crabby. If possible, try to schedule yourappointments around this time or just be prepared for keeping your child awake.
  • Because your child may be scared, having theirfavorite stuffed animal on hand may help put them at ease.

Stay strong.

If your child is not happy about going to the doctor andbecomes upset, it could make you start to lose control of your own emotions.Instead, it’s very important for you to stay strong, no matter what may behappening. Doing this will show your child that there isn’t anything for themto fear, and it can also be helpful to the pediatrician who is trying to workwith your child.


Sometimes you just need to incentivize your child to make itworthwhile. Let them know that if they behave while at the doctor, you willgive them something in return. This can be something big or small, as you willknow your child best.

Taking a child to the doctor can be frustrating, but it’s anecessity. The more you can prepare your child for the pediatrician using thesetips, the better your experience may be.


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