Preparing for a Visit to the PediatricianJuly 26, 2018
In the first five years of your child’s life, you will go to the doctor’s office at least 14 times – and that’s not even including sick or emergency visits. Our tips this week will help you get the most out of your visit to the pediatrician.
1. Make a List
The doctor’s office can be overwhelming for the child and parent, and often there is a lot going on in a short period of time. Write down your questions and concerns ahead of time and bring them to the appointment, so you don’t forget to ask them. Remember that there are no silly questions – the pediatrician is there to help and wants you to leave the office feeling informed and empowered.
2. Expect Lots of Forms
Bring your insurance information and your child’s immunization card to the appointment, and get there ahead of time, if possible. Each visit comes with forms, and coming prepared will make this part less of a hassle. When you see the doctor, update them with any health changes since the last visit. And remember to keep the after-visit summary given to you after the physical – many schools, camps, daycares, etc. require a copy.
3. Prepare for a Wait
Emergencies sometimes occur and doctor’s offices can be behind on their schedule. To pass the time in the waiting room, many children react well to distractions, like a book, toy, or playing a fun game.
4. Be Ready for Shots
Immunizations are a regular occurrence at well-child visits. Younger children in particular will look to their caregiver to see how they react, so try to stay calm and reassure your child that she will be fine. You can say “I know this hurts, but I’m right here and it will be over soon. The doctor needs to do this to make sure you’re healthy.” Acknowledging their fear and offering your support will make your child feel safe.
5. Don’t Hesitate
Your pediatrician is a valuable source of information on child health, development, and behavior. Don’t be afraid to ask the doctor to slow down, repeat, or clarify information, since there is a lot to cover in one visit.
For more tips on doctor phobias, click here.