Thursday, August 19, 2010
Taking your child to a doctor
You can find out what it is that makes your child most relaxed by simply asking. For example, if he says he needs his favorite stuffed toy to make him feel brave, then bringing it to the doctor's office would be an enormous help. Remember that in the long run, your child's positive attitude toward his health can start with happy experiences at the doctor's.
Sometimes, your child may be sick enough to need hospitalization. Remember that hospitalization can be a scary experience even for adults, so that it's likely to be even worse for children. If you think about it from a child's perspective, a stay at a hospital can be scary and confusing! "Is the stretcher going to stretch me?" "Is the IV like the plant that covers up buildings? "Some of your child's misunderstandings might seem humorous, but they probably indicate serious anxiety about entering the hospital. Children commonly wonder: Will it hurt? Will mom or dad be with me? Will I get better? Is it my fault? When can I go home? Why don't my friends have to go to the hospital? For many children, a hospital stay often represents their first night in an unfamiliar setting, away from the comfortable surroundings of home. Before arriving at the hospital, talk with your child about what to expect and why hospitalization is necessary. Be confident, honest and serene. Accurate information - given in a way that child a can understand - is the best way to reassure and calm your child. If you tell him that a procedure will not hurt and then it does, you stand to lose credibility and he may not trust you again. It is unfortunately a fact of life that medical procedures can be painful. However, they are often necessary in order to help your child recover, and if your child can be reassured so that he cooperates in his care (rather than fights it), this can help to improve the care he receives, that would lead to optimum benefit as a result of for their medical care.
Parents who remain calm help their children feel calm. If you don't know what is happening with regard your child's care, ask a doctor or nurse to explain the details to you. Remember that families are members of the health-care team, and that you, as a parent, are the expert on your child!