Richmond Practice - how to prepare a child for their visit to the doctor

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how to prepare a child for their visit to the doctor
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For many children visiting the doctor is a fear-free experience, others however can be worried and apprehensive. At +richmond practice our mission is to make your child’s visit to the doctor as enjoyable and comfortable as possible. We hope that your child’s visit to our practice will be a positive learning experience.

reasons why children may fear their visit to the doctor
Children can feel concerned about many different things examples are that they will be left alone in the doctors’ office or that they will be admitted to hospital! Sometimes children feel guilty and they fear they are being punished for something they did or did not do.

Our advice is to be honest and upfront about the reasons for their visit to the doctor. We find that children who are well prepared and know what to expect respond better to the doctor.

how to prepare your child
  • Explain to the child that the doctor will check on how they are growing, if you are attending for a check. When they are ill you could say that we will help them get better. Vaccines are given to prevent other more serious illnesses.
  • Allow your child to contribute to a list of symptoms which you may create before your appointment.
  • We discourage parents and carers from offering food or a substantive gift as a reward for attending a visit to the doctor. 
read a relevant book or role-play
Many children's books are available to help, Topsy and Tim Go To The Doctor by Jean Adamson is one example. You can also use a toy doctor's medical kit available from the practice, to role-play your visit before or after the appointment.
avoid implying that a doctor’s visit is something to worry about
Sometimes unwittingly adults imply that a visit to the doctor is something to be fearful of: Statements such as “there is nothing to worry about”, “don’t be frightened” or “it won’t hurt.” implies that it might hurt and so on.
at the appointment
  • Remember to take a comfort toy/blanket, if necessary
  • Have the required paperwork (Red book) and your completed registration form with you
  • Make sure the child is rested and fed
  • Schedule the appointment at a time that does not disrupt your child’s routine
  • It is often better to avoid appointment slots to close to a child’s bed time.
  • Children often feel more comfortable on their parent’s lap during the appointment
  • Consider having only one child with the doctor at a time, when siblings attend
at +richmond practice
There are breastfeeding and baby changing facilities and a play area with toys and books at the practice. The doctor’s rooms also have toys and a television with a choice of child friendly films to divert the attention of young visitors, if need be. The raisons we offer children are also there to distract them. Children are given a sticker after their appointment to acknowledge them and to let others know that they have been to see the doctor.

For more information, or to make a same-day appointment, book online or call 020 8940 5009.
 

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