Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Playing to Get Ready for a Doctor's Visit

If your child is fearful about going to the doctor here are a few tips to prepare your child through play for a doctor's visit:

1.  Play pretend - Start off by using a pretend doctor's kit (homemade or store bought) to check a stuffed animal or a doll.  The child can watch you check the doll or let the child check the doll.  The next step for your child is to observe you checking another person, perhaps an older sibling or another adult.   Let the child have a turn being the doctor checking stuffed animals, dolls and people.  When the child is ready, role play that you are the doctor and check your child.  While you are role playing make sure you explain what you are going to do before you do it.  This will help to eliminate fear in the child.  

2.   Read books - Read books about going to the doctor such as Curious George goes to the Hospital or The Berenstein Bears Go to the Doctor.

3.  Write a story - Write a story about going to the doctor.  You can use google images to add pictures for your child or simple illustrations.  The text can include phrases such as:
  • We are going to see Doctor _________.
  • They will bring you into a room.
  • They will weight you and check your temperature.
  • He/she will look in your ears, eyes and nose.
  • The doctor will listen to your heart and lungs.
  • They may give you a shot.
  •  When you are done you will get a sticker.


  1. Those are great ways to eliminate the fear of going to the doctor’s! I am glad you mentioned reading books such as the ‘Curious George goes to the Hospital’ because that is one of the books I read my son before taking him to the clinic. When the day of the visit comes, I pack fun things to keep my child from becoming anxious, like his favorite toy or book.

    Chalice Lindgren

  2. For me, the most effective way in preparing your child for his/her first visit to the doctor is to read some books about their favorite character that’s also going to the dentist. Well, kids would feel that they can do it too, when they see their favorite character going to the doctor without hesitation.

    Aubrey Holloway