Be prepared for your child's immunization appointment

When taking your child to the pediatrician for an immunization shot, plan for a longer than normal doctor's visit.

Do not underestimate the value of being prepared. This can ensure that your child's appointment moves along as smoothly as possible. According to Dr. Nicole Oliver and Dr. Annette Gunsberg, pediatricians in San Antonio at Stone Oak Pediatrics the physical exam will usually take longer than a sick visit in order to cover many topics, including eating, sleep and development.  It's important not to add to your child's anxieties by rushing through the appointment. Allowing time to get ready and settle into the doctor's office will help prevent the anxieties of feeling hurried.

Plan an outfit for your child that will allow for easy access to the site where the vaccination will be administered. Vaccinations are typically administered in the upper thighs for infants and toddlers, so consider dressing your infants and toddlers in pants that can easily be removed or, if the weather permits, in a Onesie, shorts or skirt. Dr. Oliver and Dr. Gunsberg recommend that children "wear comfortable and loose clothing that can be taken off easily and put on easily."

These may seem like small things, but your child will have enough to be anxious about without adding the impact of a frustrated parent. Be careful about your demeanor, because your child will pick up on it. According to Dr. Oliver and Dr. Gunsberg, "calm parents lead to calm children. If the parents are more relaxed, then the children will be also." Remember to plan for after the appointment as well. It will not hurt to reward your child for being brave and enduring the vaccinations. Dr. Oliver and Dr. Gunsberg suggest that parents "plan a treat for afterwards." In addition to the stickers and toys that your doctor might offer your child for being a trooper, ice cream and a visit to the playground will help your child forget all about the vaccinations.

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