No matter how old you are, visiting an urgent care center can be nerve-wracking. This is especially true for little ones. Having an urgent medical emergency is scary to begin with, and it only gets worse when you add an unknown space and doctors. As a parent, you have the ability to keep your child calm during their visit. Take the following steps to ease their nerves and make the visit as successful as possible.
Step 1: Choose the right clinic.
Your family should have a go-to walk-in clinic. This way, you can head somewhere you trust in the event of an emergency. Do some research online to select the best kid-friendly clinic in your area. This way, you know going in that the doctors are equipped to deal with children.
Step 2: Bring comforting items.
While you are rushing out the door, grab stuffed animals, books, and any other special items for your child. These might provide even a small amount of comfort while they are in the exam room. Locations that provide urgent care for kids may have toys and books on hand, so use these to your advantage.
Step 3: Soothe them in the waiting room.
A recent survey found that 57% of walk-in clinic patients waited 15 minutes or less to be seen by a doctor, and 80% of these visits took an hour or less. So, hopefully, you won’t be in the waiting room long. But while you are there, do what you can to keep your child comforted and busy.
Step 4: Talk them through everything.
Surprises will only make your child more anxious, so let them know what to expect. If something is going to pinch, tell them. This way, they will learn to trust you and the doctor while in these unfamiliar medical situations.
Step 5: Use affirmative language.
While they are being cared for, stay positive. Tell them they are being brave and you are proud of them. Encouraging this behavior will make them feel strong in this scary situation. Your little one is more resilient than you may think.
By keeping your child calm during your clinic visit, you are helping both your family and the clinical staff. This will help your visit move along as quickly as possible, and you and your child can leave with a diagnosis and course of treatment.