Decrease Your Child’s Fears From the Doctor

Decreaseyourchildsfear

Decrease Your Child’s Fear From The Doctor

Learn the necessary tools to help prepare and support kids in a medical setting, from a checkup to a hospitalization. Have your child bring their favorite doll or stuffed animal to explore with medical play.

Children at all ages can develop fear and anxiety over a medical experience. Parents can often times feel overwhelmed and intimidated, which can then make the experience that much more difficult. As a certified child life specialist, my role is to help bridge that gap, providing services to support children’s emotional, psychosocial and developmental needs by working with the whole family.

In this workshop we will cover these key components:
How to incorporate play to help kids prepare and process a new experience
Learn distraction and coping techniques
How to prepare kids for a medical experience
Learn how to advocate to the medical team
Learn how to hold your child in a comfort position for a medical procedure
How to use empathic language to support your child’s emotions
Learn how to pack a go bag for urgent care and emergency department visits

Investment: $10

Held on Tuesday, July 14th at 12:00pm-1:00pm

at Happy and Healthy Wellness Center

77 Jericho Turnpike

Mineola, NY 11501

Click Here to Join

Five Tips a Child Life Specialist Teaches at a Preschool Visit

 

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It is community leader week at my son’s preschool and I was asked to come in and talk about being a child life specialist. This is a great opportunity to educate kids on coping strategies for future medical exams.

The kids sat in their circle and were excited to see what I brought in my big bag. As I pulled out the giant stuffed monkey, doctor kit and a children’s book, big smiles came across their face along with hands in the air to share their thoughts.

I spoke about my role and the importance of going to a wellness visit. We went through all the components of a checkup and incorporated parts of the preparation book, along with medical play on Mr. Monkey.

Preschool aged kids typically focus on the shot, so I wanted to leave them with useful information that they could use in the future.

5 Tips on Receiving a Vaccination

  1. Therapeutic Position-They have a choice in the way they sit during for the procedure. Mr. Monkey did a great job demonstrating.
  2. Deep Breathing– I animated Mr. Monkey crying, jumping and trying to get away from the dreadful shot. The kids began to give their advice on helping him through it, suggesting taking deep breaths. We practiced as a group and used a pinwheel to help calm our bodies and Mr. Monkey’s.
  3. Distraction– They can choose different ways to distract their mind. Counting, deep breathing, watching, looking away or thinking of something else. The kids were great at offering ideas.
  4. Bandage Choice- They can choose to bring their own character bandage or pick what the doctor has to offer. This will give them some control in choice making.
  5. It’s Okay to Cry– The kids learned that it’s okay to shed some tears, it’s a normal reaction. I have a hard time when people say, “Big kids don’t cry”  as this is false and can them feel even more ashamed. I clearly explained that crying is accepted and way to let people know how you are feeling.

As I began to wrap up, the kids shared all of their scar stories of getting stitches, breaking bones and getting a shot.

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They were all left with goodie bags that included my children’s book, It’s Time For Your Checkup: What To Expect When Going To a Doctor Visit, a pinwheel and colored bandages!

Have you thought about having a child life specialist visit your child’s school?

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Coping Kits

Medical Play with Parker, The Augmented Reality Bear

 

Play it out kiddo, just play it out

Today my little peanut, Blake had his wellness checkup. He had just gone with me to his big brother’s appointment two weeks earlier and ran to the exit door yelling “Go!” when they called us to the exam room. Ha, this smart 21 month old knew what the doctor was all about, boo boos. Well that is what he and most kids focus on.

I decided that the best way to get him ready for it was to play doctor in the morning. I didn’t involve myself, I just let him explore, manipulate and play the way he chose.

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I packed up his coping kit and filled it with Sesame Street bandages, squishy ball, stickers and his beloved Elmo doll.

I told him that we would be going to the doctor after dropping his brother off at school and he responded with, “No!” Oh geez, even the child life specialist mommy gets it from her kids.

When we arrived we were asked to go right into the exam room. He didn’t get a chance to play in the waiting room to warm up a bit, so he wasn’t very happy, protesting, “No, mama go!”

I kept my cool and distracted him with the animal decals on the wall. He calmed a bit but didn’t want to leave my lap to get measured on the table or to be weighed. Pretty typical for this age. So, I grabbed Elmo and had him get weighed on the scale.

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He thought that was pretty funny and went from being upset to giggling. He got through the rest of his measurements and then we waited for doctor.

We played a game of I-Spy in the room, pointing out the different animals and making their sounds. He even climbed off my lap to point out a few decals on the legs of the exam table. I sang some songs incorporating Elmo and he even joined in.

I knew that he would be getting a vaccination, so I pulled out the Sesame Street Band-Aids and he began to put them all over Elmo and his own tummy.

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I love the way that our pediatrician starts off the exam. She sits down with me and says, “So tell me everything. How’s it going?” I am given the chance to talk about new milestones, his picky eating stage and his obsession with his milk cup. It also gives Blake some time to warm up and sense that she is a trusted person from observing my interaction with her. He even slipped off my lap and showed her his Elmo and band aids.

When it was time for his exam he began to get a little anxious again. The doctor would check Elmo first with her medical tools and then Blake, all the while he is sitting comfortably on my lap.

During his vaccination, I had him face me in a therapeutic position and had Elmo snuggled close to him. He got an Oscar The Grouch band aid and had a few tears, saying, “boo. boo.” He bounced back within a few seconds looking at a sticker that she handed him.

On the drive home he kept saying, “shot, shot, shot.” He would point to his arm and whimper. I validated his feelings and told him that it was all over and he was so brave.

He played doctor when we got home and this is what he focused on.

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Play it out little man, just play it out.

He will probably continue to process what he experienced today and into the next few days. Letting him have opportunities with medical play, syringe play and reading “It’s Time For Your Checkup” (which he is in, haha) will help him feel mastery and control.

It’s Time For Your Checkup