It is very natural for kids to be afraid of visiting the doctor. A stranger checking your body and poking you with needles is hard to comprehend when you are young. Since your child needs to regularly visit their doctor to stay healthy, it is essential to help them get through their appointments without causing any long-lasting fears. These are the four best ways to ease children’s fear of the doctor.
Comfort Their Fears
Your job as a parent is to provide your child comfort when they are scared. You never want to dismiss your child’s fears at any age. Talk with them before leaving for the appointment to help understand their fears. Let them know that you would never put them in danger. Doctor visits are just a necessary part of life to stay healthy. It is also a good idea to hold your child’s hand throughout the appointment to let them know you are there for them.
Do Not Lie
Lying to your child before a doctor’s visit is the last thing you want to do. Telling them they will not be getting any shots may be an easy way to calm their nerves, but this will cause problems in the future. Your child will freak out once the doctor gets the needle. They will also struggle to trust anything you say for the foreseeable future. Do not harm your relationship just to get some temporary peace.
Provide a Distraction
A great way to calm your child’s fears at the doctor is by providing them with a distraction. Take a pair of headphones to the next appointment. Let them watch videos on your phone or listen to their favorite music. The distraction will keep their mind occupied throughout the entire appointment, which will naturally ease the pain felt when getting a shot.
Offer a Reward
Every child responds well to a potential reward. If your kid knows they can get something special after visiting the doctor, then they are far more likely to behave the entire time. Since kids go to a lot of appointments, the reward should not be something extravagant. Keep it as simple as possible. Take them to go get ice cream or a small toy.