July 2022

Helping Your Child Prepare for a Doctor’s Visit


Many kids have concerns about going to the doctor. Luckily, there are things you can do to ease any worries in advance. That can lead to more smiles—and fewer meltdowns—at the doctor’s office.

Take these steps before your child’s next appointment:

  • Discuss who you’ll see at the visit. Explain that this person’s job is important because they help children who are well stay healthy and grow strong. They also help kids who are sick or injured feel better.

  • Talk about what will happen. Be as specific as you can. For instance: “The doctor (or nurse) will check your body. They may listen to your heart with a tool called a stethoscope. They may check your blood pressure with a cuff around your arm that squeezes quickly and then lets go.”

  • Ask if anything sounds scary. If so, let your child know that you understand. Work together to develop a plan for feeling more comfortable. For example, you can teach your child to take slow, deep breaths to stay calmer.

  • Watch your language. Avoid scary terms. For example, let’s say your child is afraid of getting a vaccine. You might call it a “poke” instead of a “shot.” Describe what they’ll feel as a “pinch” or “pressure” instead of pain.

Your child doesn’t need to start all over if they missed doses of routine shots. The CDC says to get the next one from your child’s healthcare provider. Now is the perfect time. To help keep germs in check, students of all ages need certain shots before heading to class in the fall. Double check your student’s requirements and work with your provider. View routine schedules here.


Online Medical Reviewer: Ray Turley, MSN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Rina Lazebnik, MD
Date Last Reviewed: 3/1/2022
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