6 Tips for Taking Young Children to Urgent Care

Posted on June 13, 2018

Category: Urgent Care General

Every parent knows how unpredictable young kids’ health can be. If you suspect a minor infection or Urgent Care centers aren’t emergency rooms, but they’re an excellent place to go after hours or when your primary care doctor can’t get you in right away. They can be especially convenient when young children come down with minor illnesses, infections, sprains and strains. Ready to make your visit as smooth as possible?

Here are six tips for taking young children to an Urgent Care clinic.

1. Stay positive and calm.
It can be difficult to remain calm when your child isn’t feeling well. But remember, children (especially young ones) often mirror their parents’ emotions. If you’re visibly frightened, anxious or afraid, then your child will be, too.

1. Let them know what to expect.

It’s normal for young children to be nervous about visiting the doctor’s office. If yours is particularly frightened, it can help to validate their feelings. Ask them how they feel. Are they scared? Do they think it will hurt? Do you wish we could stay home? If they answer yes, tell them that you understand. This can help diffuse potential meltdowns simply by making your child feel heard.

2. Stop explaining and start comforting.

After you’ve validated your child’s feelings, it’s a good idea to stop talking about the subject. Overexplaining about doctors, nurses, tests and other procedures could make your child even more upset. Instead, signal the end of the conversation with a big hug or extended cuddle – then change the subject to a topic your child enjoys, such as a friend or a favorite pet.

3. Encourage questions about their visit.
Urgent Care is never a fun trip for a sick child, but there are plenty of ways to make the visit more positive with questions, answers and games. Play “I Spy” in the waiting area or exam room. Ask the doctor or nurse questions about their lab coat, stethoscope or computer. Anything you can do to help them feel safe and comfortable will add to their overall sense of trust and well-being.

4. Bring comfort items.

Does your child have a favorite blanket, stuffed animal or other toy? Consider bringing it along. Anything you can do to help them feel less anxious will make your Urgent Care experience that much more positive.

5. Get a sitter for siblings, if possible

If you have other children, consider asking a relative, neighbor, or friend to watch them during your Urgent Care visit. That way you can focus all of your time, energy, and attention on your sick or injured child.

Sioux Falls Urgent Care is open 7 days a week with high-quality, connected care and short wait times. That’s your kind of care!