- Talk about doctor visits in a positive way.
- Read fun books to your child about doctor visits prior to your appointment.
- If your child asks if the shot or procedure will hurt, don’t fib about it; get down at your child’s eye-level and explain that the shot may hurt a little for a few seconds.
- Allow your child some control regarding the appointment. Let them choose which toy they want to bring with them, and how they want to sit for the shot.
- Tell your child to blow out the pain like a candle or have the child squeeze your hand as hard as the pain is of the shot.
- Plan a special reward for after the shots (i.e. going to get ice cream, going to the park, visiting a grandparent/relative, etc.)
- Allow the child to calm down before leaving the doctor’s office so that they can leave on a positive note and not associate the doctor’s office with negative things or pain.
- Children sense parents’ anxiety. Make sure you’re able to stay calm during the procedures.
- Distraction is helpful during the shot or procedure, such as:
– Playing “I spy” and helping your child find items in the room
– Blowing bubbles during the shot (this also helps the child to regulate breathing and remain calm)