Fear of the white coat of the pediatrician in children

Going to the doctor does not like children or adults. Every time we go with our children to the pediatrician, the scene they find is that we have to wait a while, the atmosphere is sad, the smells are rare, people are serious, they do not speak and if they do they speak softly and above They can play because there are bad people that we should not bother. The fear of the pediatrician's gown in children is normal, but what can we do?

To all these experiences we must add that the treatment they will receive such as vaccines, reviews, auscultations ... can be painful, uncomfortable, etc or that they are wrong and have pain, it is understandable that more than one is reluctant to go to the pediatrician and even that they cry when they learn that they have to go or that they set up a "little scene" in the same doctor's office.

Why are children afraid of the pediatrician?

When we take our son to the pediatrician, we have to keep in mind that for them it is a new experience, where a strange person, dressed in a white coat and with a few "rare" and cold instruments he will touch them and examine them. This situation in itself already produces insecurity and fear of the unknown in the little ones.

We also take the children to the pediatrician when they are sick, something hurts, they have to vaccinate, etc. So it is not uncommon for the child to relate the doctor to feeling bad, to have pain and, like adults, it is normal for them to try to avoid all the situations that make them suffer.

They may also have had a bad experience, a puncture that hurt a lot, a squeeze in some part of the body that bothered them, not being able to move at ease ... every time the child has to go to the pediatrician remember those experiences and avoids through temper tantrums, anger, screaming and crying his disagreement.

There are other factors such as the lack of information on our part about who the pediatrician is, what we are going for and what they are going to do to us, the jokes or threats that we often use referring to the figure of the doctor to get them to behave as we want "If you do not eat everything, we'll have to go to the doctor to get your puncture" and the unlimited imagination of the youngest ones, which in some cases can generate bad passes.

How to avoid the fear of the doctors white coat?

We have to be clear that the reaction of the children and the fear of the pediatrician that they feel is completely normal, the doctors impose, therefore, in order to help the little ones reduce their anxiety and their discomfort in the visits to the doctors. ;

1. Normalize the situation. Children not only detect the words, but also realize the attitudes and gestures that adults do, especially their parents, if before the visit of the doctor the parents show anxiety, nervousness or worry the children will notice and imitate our emotions

2. Give them information. Always adapting it to the child's age. Warn him the day before that they will go to the doctor, explain who the doctor is, his name if you know him to make the visit more familiar, what they will do and answer all your questions to reassure him.

3. Change the negative image of the doctor. For this it is necessary to highlight the positive by explaining that the doctor is a person who will help him to get well, that his throat does not hurt, he will take away the pain, etc.

4. Congratulate him on his good behavior. If at the end of the visit we praise him for his good behavior we will be promoting and motivating him so that the next time he visits the doctor he will behave in the same way.

Rocío Navarro Psychologist Director of Psicolari, integral psychology

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