Easing kids’ anxieties during office visits

Doctor with kid

It is not uncommon for children to feel anxious about seeing a doctor. Your littlest patients might worry about a painful shot, being temporarily separated from a parent or simply the unknown. We have some strategies that will help ease their anxiety and make the visit less stressful.

Odds are this won’t be their only visit to your office so you want to build a trustworthy relationship from the start.  Do not give too much detail or make promises that might be broken. When giving a shot, you could say, “This will be a quick pinch and over before you know it!” instead of saying “This won’t hurt a bit!”

Instead of making them sit alone on the exam table, invite their parent to sit next to them or put them on their lap.  Reassure them you are there to help and the visit will be over soon. 

Remain calm regardless of the child’s behavior. If you are worried or anxious, the child will likely pick up on that, so remember to smile, relax and speak calmly.

After the visit, praise the child for their success. Reward them with a sticker or something else. Point out the pleasant things that happened and how proud everyone is of the child for being brave.

Article Sources
Scripps Health - How to Ease Your Child's Fears About Doctor Visits. (2014, May 13). Retrieved August 17, 2015.
7 Tips to Help Kids Overcome Fear of Doctors. (n.d.). Retrieved August 17, 2015.