Even for adults, going to the doctor may cause anxiety. A simple annual checkup can bring up new and potentially frightening experiences for children, especially those who are adopted, learning a language or have complex medical histories. Set your child up to be successful at the doctor. This will lay a good foundation for their medical care in later years.
Before the appointment, it is important to discuss with your child the purpose and agenda of the visit. You should be as honest and open as you can, and use age-appropriate words to describe what the appointment is about. Discuss why doctors are important and good, and how they can help you stay healthy.
Discussing these topics with your child is a good idea before the appointment.
- Address the purpose of the visit. Is this an annual well-child appointment? This is a specialist visit to discuss a specific problem or a follow up appointment.
- What will happen at the appointment, and how? Use language that is age-appropriate and as specific as you can.
- Validate any negative or scared feelings. Validate any negative or scared feelings.