Children can be difficult patients. At the pediatrician's office, they're reluctant, resistant and scared. Not to mention it's sometimes difficult for them and their parents to describe what's wrong. To get to the bottom of what's ailing your child, or to just get your youngster through a basic well-child exam, you need to partner with the pediatrician to ensure a successful visit. This means making sure you plan ahead for your appointment.
Begin by preparing yourself and your little one ahead of time; then stay engaged throughout the visit, say the authors of "The Smart Parent's Guide to Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents: Expert Answers to the Questions Parents Ask Most." They recommend that you:
- Explain to your child that the trip to the doctor will help him or her feel better. Be careful not to scare him or her by using phrases like "they'll take your blood."
- Write out a list of questions and concerns for the doctor. Check them off as you go.
- Try to include details, like when your child's symptoms first began, when you talk to the pediatrician.
- Never forget to inform the doctor and his or her staff of any medications and supplements your child is on.
- Be focused on what the doctor is saying. Don't be shy about asking for clarification if something isn't clear to you.
- If at all possible, make sure it's you who accompanies your child and not someone else. You're in the best position to answer the doctor's questions.
As you can see, the things your pediatrician wishes you knew aren't that secretive. Preparation and practicality are the keys to ensuring your child has a positive experience with his or her doctor.
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