Children, for their own good, must be taken to Doctors, Dentists, and other medical clinicians from time to time. This can involve general checkups, or a requirement for addressing specific issues. In some cases, long-term care of a given health need does not necessarily pose that something is deeply wrong – such as when we bring children to the orthodontist to have their retainers fitted and their future dental health improved.
That said, no matter how friendly and nice clinicians attempt to make their medical environments seem, some children can worry about these visits quite intensely, and feel deeply uncomfortable when there. As such, it’s important that we as parents take a willing effort here in helping them feel more comfortable, familiar, and okay with these regular visits. After all, the calmer and more collected your child is, the better your clinician can take care of them, which is all they hope to achieve in the first place.
With that in mind, let’s consider how to help your child feel more comfortable in clinical environments:
Familiarize Them With Your Doctor Or Clinician
It’s important to familiarize your child with your doctor or clinician so they understand who they’re visiting. Calling them by their name, as if a family friend, can help your child feel more interested in visiting them as a fun outing rather than labeling them “the Doctors” or a group that feels disconnected from us. Choosing the right service is important too, such as the most welcoming family dentistry service you could attend. This will do half of the work for you.
Never Refer Negatively To The Medical Environment
It’s important to be mindful about how you talk about the medical visits you and your child will encounter. For instance, suggesting “you need to eat your vegetables otherwise your teeth will rot away and the dentist will have to take them out!” might seem like a somewhat mild way to worry a child into behaving the right way, but with our careless fictional warning we’ve shown that the dentist is something to be feared. It’s important to make the medical environment seem friendly, perhaps even by playing doctors with cool childhood toys, giving them a pretend stethoscope, and buying a LEGO set (or similar toys) depicting hospitals.
Answer Their Questions & Keep Them Informed
Both children and adults tend to have a fear of the unknown, and it’s normal for us to feel apprehensive about going into an environment we’re not sure of. This is why, when taking our children for vaccinations, for instance, it’s good to make the event seem like a fun outing where you can see the Doctor, become protected against “feeling sad and unwell,” and then go to eat some fast food as a treat afterwards. Don’t keep them in the dark or make visiting a medical professional seem like a secret that will surprise them on entry. This way, they need not fear going over there.
With this advice, you’re certain to help your child feel comfortable in clinical environments. This can help them become more receptive to the care they need, and will make the experience so much easier for you and the medical staff involved.
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