Dear parent of young children,
As a nurse there are a few things I would appreciate your help with when you bring your child to see a nurse or doctor. Here's the list:
1) Do NOT tell your child "Oh, you're going to hate this." Or any variation of this statement. Telling your child that they are going to hate a finger stick for a hemoglobin check, having their blood pressure taken, or getting a vaccine DOES NOT HELP THE SITUATION! In fact it increases the fear your child has and makes it a lot more traumatic than need be. Not to mention, it makes the nurses mad that you are telling your child to hate them or what they are doing.
2) Be honest with your child. If they are coming in for a vaccination, tell them before you get to the office. Yes, they will be upset, but they are often more upset if you spring it on them last minute.
3) Please refrain from telling your child "It won't hurt". Let's be honest, that shot I am about to give your child is going to hurt. While you think telling this to your child helps, it just makes them think you and the nurse are liars when the shot does hurt. They remember this when they come in for future visits whether they are getting poked then or not. Instead, tell him or her "It will be over really fast." or "I know this hurts but it will keep you healthy."
4) Please help hold and comfort your child. It helps ease the stress and also makes nurses not seem like so much the "bad person". Your child needs properly held while having their finger poked or receiving a shot. When you stand 3 feet from the table and don't help hold your child, someone is likely to get hurt and your child is probably going to be more upset. Hold their hand and talk calmly to them please.
5) Lastly, for Pete's sake, bring your diaper bag with you to an appointment. If you know you are coming to a well child visit, and your child will be weighed, or that there is a possibility your diaper wearing child will load their pants in our office, BRING YOUR DIAPER BAG. We don't have diapers just laying around for children to be changed.
Thanks in advance for your help with these steps to make your child's visit to the doctor or nurse a more pleasant experience for all involved.