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Parenting Tips for Kids Scared of Going to the Doctor

The following content is from our partner, Hearts Connected. You can find the original post here.

What to bring to the appointment for a smoother visit

Does your child become easily overwhelmed or over stimulated by a visit to their pediatrician? If so, you might want to consider bringing a coping kit to their next appointment. A coping kit is a bag or box full of items that will aid your child in using positive coping techniques and behaviors when they are feeling overwhelmed or overstimulated. Coping kits are typically packed with an assortment of toys and sensory items to lessen anxiety and fears, promote deep breathing exercises, and promote play to create a sense of normalcy throughout their appointment.

When preparing for a visit to your pediatrician, allow your child the opportunity to pack their own coping kit. By doing so, it provides your child with a sense of control over the appointment and therefore reduces any fears and anxieties they might be experiencing in relation to seeing the pediatrician. Some ideas of items that can be included in a coping kit include:

  • A comfort item (favorite blanket, stuffed animal, etc.)
  • Bubbles
  • Crayons, washable markers, and/or stickers to decorate the paper protection on the exam table
  • Books- Look and Find or I-spy
  • Doctor play kit for them to perform their own medical examination on their favorite stuffed animal or toy
  • iPad or tablet
  • Handheld games
  • Snacks
  • Their favorite character bandages to be placed after an injection or blood draw

By putting together a coping kit, you create the opportunity for your child to gain a sense of control over their medical experience, and also permission to utilize the items throughout their appointment so that the experience at the doctor can be a positive one. This will help to instill a sense of self-confidence in your child and build a positive relationship to their medical journey.

If your child has had a negative medical experience or you need support helping your child through difficult medical experience, reach out to the Hearts Connected team for a free consultation!

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