We arrived at our family doctor yesterday for a regular check-up only to find people and small children waiting outside the door. The office was so packed with sick kids, the receptionist asked me to wait in my car and she would call me when they were ready. Yowsers! I felt for all involved. The staff was patient but looked a little haggard, the parents had wrinkled brows and the kids just wanted to be held.
"It seems like winter came early this year." Our pediatrician said. With all this flu talk and sickness going around, it might be good to have a few things in our parenting back pocket for such a time.
Here are a few ideas for your trip to the doctor:
1. Keep kids busy. Put tiny journals and color pencils in your bag for the office visit wait. Bubbles, stickers and tiny plastic animals can distract a worried mind. Play thumb wars and twenty questions with older kids.
2. Turn off the TV. The news can be quite scary for kids, heck, for me too. H1N1 news is a hot topic but little ears can be spared from the latest statistic. Information can pour in even when kids don't appear to be listening.
3. Talk straight, but be positive. Let your kids know what is going to happen (depends on the age/personality about how much information), and then remind them of your presence and support.
4. Let your child have as much control as possible. Let your child ask their own questions to your care provider. Introduce them to all staff that will be caring for them. Tiny decisions like what color band-aid they want and what you should do/play after the experience can help when they are feeling so powerless.
Do you have any tips for helping kids deal with the doctor, shots or general anxiety about medical care? Let us know in the comments.
Check out Sid The Science Kid too! He has a new episode about getting shots. This is also an awesome guide to how to talk to your child about going to the doctor and dentist.