Calming a Child’s Fear about Visiting the Doctor

| Posted On Oct 25, 2013 | By:

little girl with teddy bearAt one point or another – maybe at the age of two or five or even older – many children get scared to go for a visit to their pediatrician.  There’s lots of reasons for their anxiety, and many of them come from not knowing what to expect:  what will they see when they look in my ears?  will it hurt when they tighten that band around my arm?  and what about shots (okay, well, there’s nothing unknown about that particular fear!)

Our pediatric team at Cambridge understands that children can be uneasy about visiting the doctor and wanted to help.  So they made the video below, which follows Moses, a young patient, through his annual well visit at the practice.

Take a moment to watch this video with your child.  Dr. Eumene Ching, a Cambridge pediatrician and chief of the department, narrates each step of the visit and explains what is going on and why it is done, hopefully putting some of those fears to rest.  After you watch the video together, ask your child what other questions he or she still has – it’s a great way to take away some of your child’s concerns and hopefully make the idea of the visit more positive by focusing on things like how well she or he may have grown.

And especially if you have a toddler or a younger child, here are some additional tips that might help.

Cambridge and our other 14 pediatric practices have wonderful pediatricians who are currently accepting new patients.  All of our practices offer 24/7 telephone medical advice, which means that you can speak directly with one of our medical staff (often a nurse practitioner or physician assistant) about your child’s symptoms at any time of the day or night.   If necessary, our medical staff can consult an on-call Harvard Vanguard physician, advise you to visit the emergency room, or schedule you for an urgent care appointment at one of our 6 practices which offer weekend/holiday Urgent Care.

At Harvard Vanguard, we use an electronic medical record that can be accessed by any of our medical staff who see your child or speak with you, making sure the most complete and current information about your child is available at any time for diagnosis and treatment.

You can also access a portion of your child’s medical record electronically.  Our highly-secure online patient portal called MyHealth Online lets you see certain test results, medication lists, and growth charts; print out school or camp forms; and communicate with your doctor’s office about non-urgent health matters.

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