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Preparing Your Toddler for Healthcare Visits

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toddler biting a fruit gummy

 

 

Your toddler needs regular healthcare, including visits to the doctor and dentist. Here's some advice to make those trips less stressful for both of you: 


  • Talk to your toddler about what's happening. Explain where you are going and why. Use simple language: "The nurse is going to give you an immunization in the arm. It will sting for a minute, but I’ll hold you on my lap the whole time."
  • Answer your toddler's questions simply and directly.
  • Book healthcare appointments during times when your toddler is well rested and not hungry.
  • Demonstrate what a health caregiver might do, such as listening to your toddler’s chest or looking in his ears.
  • Encourage your toddler to play "doctor" or "dentist" with a toy.
  • Bring along items that will make your toddler more comfortable, such as a favourite blanket or toy.
  • Read children's books about visits to a doctor, dentist, optometrist, or nurse.
  • Praise your toddler's behaviour and efforts to cooperate (even if she cried the entire time). "You held so still when the doctor looked in your ears!"

Resources & Links:
HealthLink BC: Routine Checkups
HealthLink BC: Making the Most of Your Appointment

Last Updated: August 11, 2013