It is not unusual for your child to develop a fear of doctors in their childhood. Generally if your child has a fear of doctors they have had some sort of trauma that has occurred at the doctor’s office that has left them with bad memories. It could be something as simple as having a shot or the doctor using a tongue depressor while looking at their throat. You child is too young to understand that even though sometimes things hurt, they are for their own good to help them get well or stay well.
So, what can you do to help them to overcome their fear of doctors? First of all, realize that this isn’t a fear that will go away overnight. It is going to take some time to help your child realize that doctors are not bad. The first step is to talk to them and try to explain to your child if they are old enough to understand. Explain that if they have to have something done that hurts, it really is for their own good, to help them get well or stay well.
Try to take them to the doctor for something when you know that there will not be anything painful. Maybe it is time for a checkup or a sports physcial. Make it a fun day for your child and build in lots of rewards. For example, plan a trip to the park afterward and stopping for ice cream on the way home. Try to do something enjoyable after every doctor visit, even if it is just going through the drive through. Your child will learn to associate going to the doctor with fun things instead of focusing on bad memories.
Some of their fear of doctors may have to simply be taken care of with time. Most children grow out of this as they grow up but there are things that you can do to help them along the way.
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