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Kids Health: Preparing your child for Doctor's Visit

Updated at: Feb 01, 2013
Tips for Parent
Written by: Editorial TeamPublished at: Feb 01, 2013
Kids Health: Preparing your child for Doctor's Visit

Preparing for your doctor’s visit


When you go to your child’s doctor for a routine health checkup or for an illness, the time with your doctor is limited and there is usually a lot of ground to cover. So, it is better that you are well prepared for your appointment.


What you can do

  • Write down the symptoms and problems your child is experiencing, including any other concern that may seem unrelated to the reason for your visit.
  • Note any major personal information such as drug allergy, immunization and so on.
  • Prepare a list of medications, as well as any vitamins or supplements; you are giving to your child.
  • Write down the questions you want to ask your doctor, this will help you make the most of your time with the doctor.


Prepare questions regarding the illness to clear your doubts and apprehensions such as:

  • What is the probable cause of my child’s symptoms or condition?
  • What's the best course of action?
  • How long will it take to improve?
  • Will my child have any long-term effects of from the illness?
  • Can you give me any brochures or other reading material that I can use?
  • Which Web sites do you recommend?


Besides this, if you have a doubt or you don't understand something; don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment.


How to prepare your child for doctor’s visit


If your child knows he or she is going to the doctor, it can cause worry and apprehension. Children may have fear or apprehension even if it is a routine examination visit and not for an illness.


Some children may openly talk about their fears and guilt while others may harbor it secretly. You should talk to child about the visit and help them to express their fears and overcome them.


Common fears and concerns of a child


Some common concerns of a child about going to the doctor are:

  • Separation: Preschool children (or children under 7 years of age) often fear that their parents may be asked to leave the room while they are being examined by the doctor. This fear may be present in some children as old as 12 or 13 years.
  • Pain: Children are often worried that examination or a medical procedure can hurt. They are especially afraid that they will be given an injection.
  • The doctor: Your child may be apprehensive of the doctor. A doctor’s qualities such as speed, efficiency, or a detached attitude may offend a child. Children may perceive this as sternness, dislike, or dismissal.
  • The unknown: A child may fear that he or she is really sick than you are telling him/her or they really have a life threatening disease. They may even be concerned that they may need surgery or hospitalization, or worry that they may die.


How can you help your child


Some practical ways to prepare your child for a doctor’s visit are:


Explain the reason for visit: Let them know that it is a regular health checkup. Tell them that the doctor will examine you and will just measure your height, weight and so on to know if you are growing well. Let them know that all children go for such visits. If your child is sick and is going for treatment of an illness--- explain that the doctor will examine to find out what is wrong and will give medicines to make you well.


Let your child know what to expect during the examination: You may discuss the things the doctor may do during the exam such as:

  • Examine the mouth; put a stick to tongue down to see the throat.
  • Check eyes and ears...


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