Taking a child to the doctor or dentist is not an easy matter. Because in the child’s mind, the doctor is a scary figure with a syringe as his mainstay tool.
This fear can sometimes become a panic attack and lead to a doctor phobia or iatrophobia. Of course, this will overwhelm you when the time comes for your little one to be sick and not want to see a doctor.
To overcome this, you must know how to prevent your child from being afraid to visit the dentist or doctor. Therefore, consider the following tips.
Tips to Calm Your Child
1. Ask what they’re afraid of
When taking your kid to the doctor, it is not uncommon for them to show a change in his facial expression. This is very common when they are feeling anxious or afraid. If this happens, try to give them a chance to share their grievances.
You can also ask them to ask questions that are still stuck in their mind regarding seeing a doctor. Knowing the reason behind their fear will help you understand better how to help them.
In answering the questions, they ask, try to give a specific and logical explanation so that it can help reduce their fear. Don’t forcefully take them to meet the doctor because it can cause trauma.
2. Explain to them the reasons to go to the doctor
Generally, children afraid to visit the doctor often imagine various bad things that might happen—from the pain due to the injection to getting multiple treatments they did not expect.
That is why your little one often feels anxious whenever they’re invited to the doctor. Explain slowly to your child what will happen during a doctor’s visit.
Try to use words or language that is easy to understand. This is because explaining the goals accompanied by language that is comfortable for the child’s ears will help them to be able to reduce their fears and anxieties.
Children often ask questions before going to the doctor related to injections. Do not let the sake of wanting to calm and overcome the child’s fear of going to the doctor; you should provide a satisfying answer to this question.
When that happens, your little one can feel cheated, and their trust in you will decrease. Instead of promising something that you can’t be sure of, it’s best always to be honest and just tell your little one the truth.
Explain realistically because you don’t necessarily know whether your little one needs an injection or not. That way, you can help build your little one’s trust and make him or her not feel cheated if things don’t go according to plan.
3. Take them to the doctor after eating and sleeping well
Taking your child to the doctor after he has eaten and slept well can help with fear and anxiety. This is because your little one’s behavior will usually be much better if he has eaten and gets enough rest.
Moreover, you cannot predict how long it will take to wait for the doctor. Don’t forget to bring your little one’s favorite storybooks and toys to help pass the time.
Talk to your little one about exciting things in the doctor’s waiting room when they seem restless. Therefore, it’s best to avoid scheduling your child’s doctor’s appointment to coincide with their meal and bedtime.