How To Reduce Your Child’s Fear Of Healthcare Appointments

Every parent’s aim in life is to keep their family healthy. Doing so means encouraging a healthy diet, maintaining positivity for enhanced mental health, and taking care of your and your child’s overall health.

Many children might cause a fuss when it comes to attending appointments. Whether it be a checkup or a treatment, many will either feel afraid or anxious. To ensure that you can take good care of your child’s health and help them overcome their fear of healthcare appointments, here are some tips.

Attend appointments together

Although you will likely attend your child’s appointments with them, as they will need a carer or guardian, you could also have your appointments at the same time. 

For instance, getting dental help from a Family Dentistry means that you and your family can see the same practitioner and attend appointments together. Therefore, your child will feel more at ease as the spotlight won’t be on them and you can allow them to watch you in the same situation to show them that there is nothing to be afraid of.

Role plays

Another great (and fun) way of helping your child overcome their fear of appointments is to perform role play. The more practice your child gets with the routine and procedure, the more comfortable they will feel when they attend their appointment.

For instance, you could simply make up a faux dentist chair and purchase toy tools to pretend that you are performing a checkup on them. You should also encourage them to take charge of the appointment – letting them pretend that they are a doctor or dentist – so that they can have fun with it. 

Getting toy tools involved will make the real thing less scary as they might presume that healthcare practitioners use fun tools too.

Book an appointment that suits their time preference

Although you shouldn’t allow your child to be in control of the appointment – as it won’t put them out of their comfort zone – it will help if you can put their mind at ease slightly. 

For instance, you – as the parent – should still have control and ensure that they attend the appointments to get the care they need. Yet, allowing the child to choose a time that they would prefer to go to will give them some sense of control and responsibility. 

They might prefer to go in the morning when they are back to school to get it out of the way. Or, they might prefer to go after school so that they can get a treat after. Either way, asking them their time preference will hopefully help them feel more at ease. 

Give them a reward

Speaking of rewards, it can help your child feel more comfortable about the appointment if you give them a reward for going. Make sure to only give them the reward after their appointment. Otherwise, they might act up and cause a fuss as they have already had the treat.

Giving them a sweet treat or toy can show them that what they have accomplished is brave and, therefore, will set a good tone for future appointments.

Enjoy every minute being a mom and continue to inspire your kids!

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Jodi Carlson is a mother of 2 children, wife, and a full time product owner at a large Insurance company. She is a mom just trying to juggle a full-time job with a family life. She shares countless tips and tricks of things she has experienced first hand with her kids. As she continues to guide and teach them to become caring, sensible and responsible human beings, all while working a full time job, maintaining a home and some how still allowing for some personal time and growth. Are you a Girl Scout Leader? Along with Mom Connecting Moms, she shares her 25+ years of Girl Scout experience over at Leader Connecting Leaders , there she shares ideas and resources to help leaders who are inspiring girl leaders of tomorrow plan their troop meetings. Check out Leader Connecting Leaders .