The staff is very interested in making your child’s visit to the office as fun as possible! The following suggestions are offered to help make your child’s visit as pleasant as it can be!
Toddlers and preschoolers often benefit from play acting their doctor visit. Letting your child give you a pretend shot or listen to your heart with a play stethoscope can help reduce a child’s concern by allowing them to have practice in a setting where they feel in control. Candy “medicine” has also known to be of value!
Use EMLA for Vaccines
EMLA is a topical anesthetic that numbs the skin. We have routinely offered this for over seventeen years, as it is both effective and well tolerated. EMLA starts working in 15 minutes and is optimally effective after 45 minutes. Therefore, parents should apply EMLA at home prior to coming to the office. Click here for more information.
Remove Ear Wax at Home
If your child is prone to ear infections, make it a habit to put mineral oil or half-strength hydrogen peroxide solution in your child’s ear to loosen and remove ear wax. Your doctor can tell you exactly how this should be done. In order to diagnose an ear infection, the doctor must be able to see the ear drum. Even a small amount of wax can make this impossible. Doctors can take the wax out, of course, but the patient must be held completely still while this is done. Babies and toddlers dislike being held in this fashion. Even if good technique and abundant care are used, removing wax can hurt. It is far better to use drops that are painless at home than to expose your infant to a potentially uncomfortable procedure in the office.
Give ’em a snack!
Feed your infant or give your toddler a snack before you come. Infants and toddlers who are hungry tend to be fussy and tolerate being examined less well.
Please Be on Time
Your appointment time is the time the doctor is supposed to begin your encounter in the examining room. Families should plan to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to their scheduled appointment time. If we are billing insurance for you, there are steps all insurers require us to take at the time of each encounter in order for claims to be processed. These steps take time. If your insurance information is not verified in accordance with your insurer’s requirements at the time of the visit, your insurer may decline our claim, leaving you responsible.
While we always do all we can to accommodate our patients, and while we realize that it is difficult to always be timely when dealing with an infant, those who are late may be asked to reschedule. This frustrates everyone. Think of your office visit in a way similar to going to the airport, and give yourself time for traffic, parking, unpacking the stroller, and that last diaper change you had not anticipated. If you can’t make your scheduled appointment time for any reason, please call us. If we are able to use your child’s appointment for another patient, you may avoid a cancellation fee. While we will do all we can to reschedule appointments that are missed, it may not always be possible to accommodate requests for specific dates or times.
Dress for Success!
Dress your child in loose clothing that is easy to remove. Infants do best when they are fussed with the least. Clothes such as “one-sies” are more difficult to work around. Regular T shirts are better. Overalls make both examining the skin and listening to the chest with a stethoscope difficult. Â Bring a soft blanket for your baby to lie on. Â The examination table is clean, but table paper is much less comfortable than a soft blanket. Your baby will thank you for bringing something soft to lie on during the exam.
Anticipate Sibling Rivalry
Toddler and preschool aged children frequently compete for their parents’ attention at siblings’ office visits. While your agenda for the office visit may be for your doctor to answer your questions about your new baby, your older child’s agenda will probably revolve around usurping energy and attention for him or herself. You may want to bring a favorite toy to help occupy him while you want to talk to the doctor; or, you may want to promise a special reward to your child for good behavior at the boring doctor’s office! Â Snacking as distraction to occupy siblings is discouraged.
Try to bring Dad!
Families tend to get most out of the visits if both parents are present. While this may not always be feasible, fathers are encouraged to attend.
One parent must be present for vaccines to be administered.
At least one parent must be physically present for vaccines to be administered at a check up. This is a federal law, and it is impossible that exceptions would ever be considered. Notes from parents giving others permission to make medical decisions with regard to vaccine administration will not be honored. Grandparents and nannies are welcome to attend, but visits where neither parent is in attendance are very strongly discouraged. In such cases, it may be better to reschedule, as another visit may be necessary to keep your baby from becoming behind on vaccines.
Make a list!
Keep a list of the things you would like to discuss with the doctor. Arrange your questions with the ones you think are most important first. Please be aware that simple questions can have complicated answers. We will do all we can to answer your questions in the time available.
Plan to do something fun!
Hey, the family is all mobilized and out of the house! Take advantage of this and go somewhere fun afterwards! Early lunch or dinner with your spouse, perhaps?