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Support and Advice from TNPC's Parenting Experts


Does your child dread going to the doctor’s office? If so, the following tips may make it easier:

• First, schedule an appointment at a time your youngster won’t be needing a nap. Also, feed him beforehand so he won’t be hungry.

• Second, bring a stuffed animal, security blanket, pacifier, or snack with you to keep him busy in the waiting room. These may also help him quiet down during parts of the exam.

• Third, to make the physical exam go easier, practice at home holding still for looking in the ears, opening his mouth really wide, and taking deep breaths through an open mouth. By all means, don’t let anyone tickle him. This will interfere with ever getting a good exam of the abdomen.

• Finally, if he’s over two years of age and fearful because of previous shots and procedures, try to help him reassociate the doctor’s office with more pleasant events. Whenever you’re in the neighborhood, just drop in to say hello to his nurses and doctors and stay for a few minutes. Encourage your child to give people hugs and then give him a treat. This approach will gradually make him look forward to the visits.

During Dr. Schmitt’s 20 years as a medical practitioner and researcher, he has published over 100 articles or chapters on pediatric health care, and has been awarded the distinguished C. Anderson Aldrich Award by the American Academy of Pediatrics for outstanding contributions to the field of child development. Schmitt has also authored five books including Your Child’s Health, which won Child Magazine’s first Hall of Fame Award in 1991. Schmitt is also a professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and on staff at The Children’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado.

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